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Police search after mystery bones found by A23
UPDATE: Police have confirmed they believe bones they have found next to the A23 are human.
Several small pieces of bone were found at about 10.20am on Monday.
The find was made by workmen clearing ground 100 metres south of the Slaugham junction on the A23.
They issued a statement at 1pm today, saying: "Roadworks contractors contacted police at 10.20am on Monday, May 28 to report that several bones had just been found whilst digging and ground clearance was taking place at the side of the southbound A23, 100 metres south of the Slaugham junction.
"Specialist search and scenes of crime officers have been at the scene yesterday and today, Tuesday 29 May, examining the bones in conjunction with a forensic archaeologist, and searching the adjacent area.
"Nothing else has been found at this time.
"There are several small pieces of bone and we believe they are human, but they will be removed today and taken to a forensic laboratory for detailed examination, which may take some time.
"We are keeping an open mind at this time, and have not yet formed a view on how the bones came to be there or their age. Although very close to the carriageway it is possible that they may have been carried there by animals.
"There is no evidence to show that they had been buried, as they appeared on the surface during the process of digging and ground clearance."
The A23 has not been closed.
Drivers on the southbound carriageway are being asked to take care as they come down Handcross Hill, which is already subject to a 50mph restriction, because officers might be crossing the crash barrier to work.
Road workers who are currently widening the busy road found the remains at 10.20am yesterday.
This morning more than 20 officers were involved in searches at the scene.
Some had hedge-cutting equipment to clear undergrowth.
A cordon put up around the bones overnight was extended.
Mid Sussex district officers were handling the inquiry but senior officers were understood to be discussing how it should progress this morning.
The bones were found at the side of the southbound road, 100 metres south of the Slaugham junction near Handcross.
A barman at the nearby Chequers pub said that three police cars had been at the scene all day yesterday.