Family’s stress as identity of body found on Royal Estate at Sandringham remains unknown
A grandmother has spoken of the stress placed on her family amid fierce international speculation the body of a young woman found on the Queen's Norfolk estate might be her missing granddaughter.
A dog walker found the body at 4pm on New Year's Day less than two miles from Sandringham House, where the Royal Family have been spending their Christmas break.
But results from samples, taken during a post-mortem examination last week, and other tests have failed to provide a DNA profile.
Police have so far not ruled out the possibility that the body found could be of missing 17-year-old Alisa Dmitrijeva, who was last seen in King's Lynn on August 31.
Now, with the investigation entering its second week, Miss Dmitrijeva's grandmother Lidija Nesterova, 62, told a national newspaper: 'Everyone is so stressed. We just want an answer from the police.
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'If I could only know where she is, I would do anything to help her. I still believe she is alive. But if they come tomorrow, [to tell us otherwise] I will have to accept it.'
She added: 'One moment she was in the house and suddenly she wasn't. She was gone.'
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It is unlikely the identity of the victim, described as that of a young, white woman aged between 15 and 23 years old, will be established before Monday afternoon. Police have also said the woman was between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 6ins tall with high cheekbones.
Experts know from studying the bones in the wrist, ribs and clavicle that the victim could not have been older than 23.
They also know from the absence of ivy growing over the remains - it stops in August - that the body must have been dumped at the end of the muddy farm track in September or later.
Mrs Nesterova, speaking via an interpreter, later told The Times: 'I cannot believe it is her but there have been so many days, wondering where she is, and what has happened, I don't know what to think any more.'
Miss Dmitrijeva had shared a rented semi-detached house in Wisbech with her grandmother, her father Olegs 40, who works in a potato-packing factory, and Viktorija, her 10-year-old sister.
Originally from Riga, Miss Dmitrijeva is believed to have arrived in England two years ago when her father and sister came to live with her grandmother.
Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry, senior investigating officer with the Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team, has already said speculation about the identity of the victim was 'unhelpful', particularly for the families involved.
He added: 'We are in touch with a number of families and are particularly focused on missing persons' cases in Norfolk and neighbouring counties. My job is to remain objective and deal in facts to ensure the right outcome.'
He added that some articles had been recovered from the area around where the body was found but said they would only be used to try to identify the victim if they failed to get a positive DNA result.
Despite being unable to identify the victim, Det Ch Insp Fry said he was pleased with how the investigation was going.
He had 'several officers' making inquiries, including trying to obtain CCTV in the area that might have captured relevant individuals.
'Once we identify who the deceased is then we can look at possible associates or possible movements of that person in vehicles belonging to them, their appearance on CCTV to identify timeframes about movements and that sort of thing,' he added.
Cambridgeshire police launched an appeal to find Miss Dmitrijeva after she was reported missing on September 6.
Detectives said the teenager had links in Lincolnshire and Peterborough and it was not unusual for her to stay away from home for several days, but she had always previously stayed in touch with her family. She had also been due to enrol for a new course on September 1 at the College of West Anglia.
Since Miss Dmitrijeva's disappearance, there have been a number of unconfirmed sightings and police offered a �5,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
Detectives had put out an appeal for information regarding the movements of a P-registered green Lexus GS300 car in connection with her disappearance. The vehicle was seen at Heacham - five miles from where the body was found - around the same time.
Officers have also been using social media in an effort to track down the teenager and have created a Facebook advert targeted at people living in Wisbech, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
The advertisement was created in English, Latvian and Lithuanian.