Police have raided properties in Birmingham and Wolverhampton as they race to identify a woman whose body was cut up into pieces and stuffed into suitcases.
The grisly find, which included a torso in one bag and other parts in another, was made in Gloucestershire late on Tuesday night.
Detectives were yesterday given an extra 36 hours to question a man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s, both from the Midlands, who were arrested on suspicion of murder.
DNA testing is being used to identify the victim after a post-mortem failed to establish the cause of her death as officers, for the third day in a row, continue to search the scene of the arrests – a quarry near the village of Staunton in the Forest of Dean.
A huge area of countryside remains cordoned off, though no other body parts have been found in the woodland as originally feared.
A police search team search woodland next to Stowfield Quarry near Coleford in the Forest of Dean today
Police, pictured today in woodland next to Stowfield Quarry in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, continue to search for clues today as a murder inquiry enters its third full day
A map, pictured, shows where a man and a woman were arrested on the England-Welsh border after a human torso was found in a suitcase
A Goucestershire Police spokesperson said this afternoon: ‘Two people remain in custody today, Friday 15 May, in connection with the discovery of human remains in the Forest of Dean earlier this week.
‘Searches have taken place at premises in both Birmingham and Wolverhampton following the arrests of a woman aged in her 20s and a man aged in his 30s.
‘A post-mortem examination yesterday was found to be inconclusive and further examinations are ongoing to establish the cause of death.
‘DNA testing is also ongoing to identify the female victim.
‘Searches have continued today around the area of Stowfield Quarry, near Coleford and some road closures remain in place in the surrounding area.’
Police thanked local residents and drivers impacted by road closures for their patience throughout the investigation.
Gemma and David Greenway, who live on the outskirts of Coleford, breed dogs and run a grooming salon, rang the alarm after spotting a man entering a lorry trailer yard near their home, and were left ‘shaken’ by the horrific find.
‘I’m just so glad that David spotted him acting suspiciously and reported it,’ Mrs Greenway, 37, told a local Facebook site.
Gemma and David Greenway, pictured, who live on the outskirts of Coleford, breed dogs and run a grooming salon, rang the alarm after spotting a man entering a lorry trailer yard near their home
Three forensic tents, pictured yesterday, are still in place at the entrance to the quarry on the closed A4136 in Gloucestershire, where human remains were found on Tuesday night
A road closure was still in place yesterday as police remained at the scene, pictured, after a torso was found in a suitcase
A police search team were yesterday scouring through woodland, pictured, next to Stowfield Quarry in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire Police officers, pictured yesterday at the scene, continue to investigate as a man and a woman remain in custody
A car is pictured on the closed A4136 outside of Coleford, Forest of Dean yesterday as police continue working on a murder investigation
Dozens of police officers have taken part in the investigation, which has seen woodland thoroughly searched, pictured
The man and woman from the Midlands were arrested after being found on the English-Welsh border with two suitcases containing the human torso and remains. They were taken into custody that evening and both are still being questioned. A Vauxhall Corsa was also seized after being pulled over near a quarry.
A huge police cordon, inside which officers continue to search today, has seen a fishery and a former sawmill, which now contains storage units, several houses and a campsite, all closed off, as well as the entrance to Stowfield Quarry, which is around a mile-and-a-half in length.
A roadblock was in place along the A4136 between Monmouth and Coleford as forensic testing was carried out to identify the victim, alongside a post-mortem examination.
A spokesman said yesterday: ‘Due to the ongoing investigation road closures and scene guards are likely to remain in place for at least the rest of today. We would like to thank local residents and those impacted by the cordons for their patience during this time.’
Police sealed off a large area and three tents were erected at the entrance to Stowfield Quarry, which is accessed via the B4228.
One resident said yesterday: ‘The tents weren’t there when I went out this morning but they had appeared by the time I got back. I don’t know what’s going on but they say I can’t even walk along the road.
‘Somebody said they had found a body and the police say the road will be closed all day.’
Another resident who lives within the cordon said: ‘I don’t know what’s happening.
‘I didn’t notice anything until I drove down the road and came to the road block. I asked if I could go through and they said yes but I might not be able to get back in again. One of the officers said the road might be closed for a few days so it must be serious.’
The quarry is on Staunton Road and the closed section also contains a fishery, a former sawmill which now contains storage units, several houses and a campsite.
Gemma Greenway, pictured left, said: ‘I’m just so glad that David (her husband, pictured right) spotted him acting suspiciously and reported it’
Police continue to search through woodland today, pictured, after two people were arrested on the English-Welsh border
Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after human remains were found in the Forest of Dean at around 11.30pm on Tuesday
Police were pictured at the entrance road to Stowfield Quarry as a murder investigation was launched near Coleford on Wednesday
The discovery was made at the entrance to the Stowfield Quarry and a large area remains cordoned off on the outskirts of Coleford, Gloucestershire
Police were pictured at the entrance road to Stowfield Quarry on Wednesday – the investigation now continues into its third full day
One resident said: ‘The tents weren’t there when I went out this morning but they had appeared by the time I got back. I don’t know what’s going on but they say I can’t even walk along the road’
The main A4136 from Cinderford to Monmouth was blocked off at the bottom of the hill at Monmouth and there was a further roadblock at the Coleford traffic lights.
The roadblock at the lights was stopping traffic from Monmouth and Staunton turning right into Coleford or heading past the fishery to Berry Hill and beyond.
Both blocked-off sections of road would have caused chaos on a normal working day and key workers had to find detours through the lanes.
Senior Investigating Officer DCI John Turner said: ‘The nature of this incident is distressing and we’re working around the clock to fully understand what has happened.
‘Someone’s life has been lost and our priority is to identify the victim and get answers for her family.
‘Searches have taken place in the surrounding area for evidence gathering and contrary to media reports no remains have been found as part of these searches.
‘Our Major Crime Investigation Team is working in collaboration with the West Midlands Police homicide team to carry out further enquiries.’