POLICE are trying to identify the body of a “young woman”, reported to be 15 years old, who was found under a bridge on the M9 near Stirling early this morning.
The discovery, by a passing driver around 7am, led to the northbound carriageway of the motorway being closed, causing major traffic congestion.
Central Scotland Police refused to confirm the age of the female, who is thought to have lived in Stirling, or reports that she may have fallen from the bridge.
Traffic between junction nine (Bannockburn) and ten (Craigforth) was diverted through Stirling until a contraflow was set up on the two-lane southbound carriageway in mid-afternoon. An incident tent was erected at the scene.
The bridge over the motorway where the incident happened, between Stirling and Cambusbarron, was also closed by police.
Drivers were warned to expect “significant delays” into the evening on both the M9 and on the M80 to the south.
A Central Scotland Police spokeswoman said: “The body of a young woman was found earlier today on the M9 near to Bannockburn interchange and the circumstances surrounding her death are being investigated.
“Drivers should avoid the area if possible.”
Officers also appealed for witnesses.
Chief Inspector Gordon Dawson said: “We are keen to hear from anybody who was on the M9 between 6:15am and 7am.
“We are particularly keen to hear from anybody who may have seen a young woman close to the motorway or on Birkhill Road bridge in Cambusbarron which crosses the motorway.
“The motorway is generally quiet at this time of the morning with commuter traffic but busier with heavy good vehicles, and we are keen to hear from any driver or operator who had vehicles in the area around this time.
“I also thank motorists for their patience to allow the investigation to continue.”
Anyone with information should contact Central Scotland Police on 01786 456000 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.