Detectives, specialist units and Croydon Police are continuing their work to establish the circumstances which led to remains being found in Rowdown Fields in New Addington yesterday morning.

Dective Inspector Martin Thorpe, from the Specialist Crime Command is now leading the investigation. He said: “As you would expect, my team is working extremely hard in the early stages of this investigation to co-ordinate the search effort and carry out enquiries as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

“We are not going to give specific details on our search of the area, but I can confirm that since yesterday we have recovered further remains. After consultation with a forensic anthropologist, we are certain that these are human.

“At this time, our search is not complete, and so local people will continue to see officers in the area.

“This is being treated as murder, and we currently believe the remains belong to one victim.

“Samples have be sent away for urgent forensic analysis and I anticipate that a special post-mortem examination will take place later this week.”

Police were called shortly after 9am yesterday to reports of possible human remains found in Rowdown Fields.

Officers attended and will remain at the scene throughout the night.

Superintendent Lewis Collins, who looks after policing on South Area including Croydon, said: “This is a very disturbing discovery and over the last day or so, the community in our borough has pulled together to give officers the space they need to carry out this important work.

“We are very appreciative of their support and we continue to ask that speculation on this case is kept to a minimum. We will keep people informed as soon as we have updates to share.”

DI Thorpe added: “Our priority is to identify the victim, but until we are possession of fuller facts, informed by the post-mortem examination we are not in a position to confirm the person’s age, ethnicity, or gender. A family has lost their loved one, and as a team, we are focusing on finding them and securing the answers they will need to come to terms with their loss.”

A crime scene remains in place in Rowdown Fields and enquiries are ongoing.

Officers say they are are not searching any other sites at this stage but will extend the search, should this be necessary.