Police probe after woman's body is discovered on beach

A POLICE probe was continuing today after the discovery of an elderly woman's body on a Musselburgh beach.

The find at around 9am yesterday led to dozens of police, CID and forensic officers descending on the area just off Bush Street at Fisherrow Sands.

Sniffer dogs were also brought in as detectives combed the surrounding seafront and undergrowth for clues, though officers say the death is not being treated as suspicious.

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A post-mortem examination is expected to take place in the coming days, though police have not yet said whether the body was washed ashore or the woman collapsed and died while walking on the beach. They could not confirm if the cold weather was to blame. The victim has not yet been formally identified and it is not known if she is local to the area.

The police operation drew a crowd of onlookers yesterday as dog walkers were barred from accessing much of the beach and a large part of the promenade.

One local woman, 80-year-old Joan Shaw, said: "They have been here for much of the day and there has been a lot of activity.

"Several different vehicles have been coming and going, not all of them marked, and it looks as though it's quite a big thing."

Others expressed concern for friends, neighbours and relatives as word of the tragedy spread.

One man said: "I'm just going to check on everyone round here who this could be.

"It's really worrying, there are a lot of vulnerable, elderly people who live in these flats and it could have been any one of them.

"No-one around here seems to know what happened, we just saw the police cars and all the CID guys grouped together.

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"It seems quite a response. If it is just a body that's been found and they aren't suspicious, you have to wonder what all the other work going on is about."

A police spokesman said: "Police were alerted to the discovery of an elderly female's body on the beach at Musselburgh at around 9am.

"Early indications suggest there are no suspicious circumstances and a post-mortem will take place in the coming days. Police expect the identity of the female will be confirmed in due course."

• www.lbp.police.uk