THE discovery of the decomposing body of a young woman in an English wood is being linked to Scotland - but police say there is “no indication” that the corpse is that of missing Russian student Yulia Solodyankina.
Police are trying to identify the woman - thought to be white and aged between 18 and 25 - who was found in Bolton, Greater Manchester, last week.
But the woman, who had a train ticket from Edinburgh to Manchester Airport, is not believed to be Ms Solodyankina.
The body, found in woodland next to the River Croal on Thursday, is so badly decomposed that police have not yet been able to determine a cause of death.
But they have released images of the distinctive jewellery the woman was wearing in a bid to help solve the mystery of her identity.
Yulia, 22, a physics student at Edinburgh University, went missing in June. She travelled from Edinburgh to Glasgow and, although she has not been seen since, police believe she may have headed to the highlands and islands of Scotland.
Police Scotland are now working with Greater Manchester Police to try to identify the body found in Bolton and pin down the link to Edinburgh.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “There’s no indication at this time that it is Yulia.”
Police are hoping pictures of a distinctive necklace with a bat pendant will be recognised by someone.
She also had a chain secured to her waist band on which were a four inch pink ‘mini maglite’ style torch, an Aldi shopping trolley token with a black cat on the back.
Along with a PNY USB memory stick, a Sandisk 16GB microSD memory card and a Sony Walkman MP3 player.
Detective Inspector Michael Fraser from GMP said it was possible the victim was connected to Edinburgh.
He said: “When we searched the body, we found a number of items on her that we hope can help identify her.
“In the pocket of her trousers was a train ticket and timetable for the Edinburgh to Manchester Airport train line.
“We still do not know how she died but our main priority is to find out who she is.
“We believe her body may have been there for a few weeks or even months and I would ask anyone who may have seen a woman who matches the description given to contact us.”
The woman is described as probably white and 5ft 2in to 5ft 4in. She wore size 12 clothes with long dark brown or black hair in a ponytail with a red bobble.
She had a number of facial piercings and pierced navel and was wearing a dark navy blue or black duffle-style coat with a fur-trimmed collar.
She was also wearing black trousers, a t-shirt with a diamante cat on the front, a black cardigan, and four to four-and-a-half size shin high 14-hole black Doc Martin boots.
A post-mortem by a Home Office pathologist failed to establish a cause of death.
Anyone with information should contact the police on 0161 856 5599 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.