Burnt clothing found in a park was being examined today by detectives hunting for missing teacher Jane Longhurst.

The items were discovered in Preston Park, near Miss Longhurst's home in Shaftesbury Road, Brighton.

Police will hand the charred remains to forensic scientists to determine whether they belonged to her. DNA tests may be used.

Detectives are no longer treating Miss Longhurst's disappearance as a missing person inquiry. It is now a major crime investigation.

A spokeswoman said: "We are treating it as though Miss Longhurst was abducted and is being held against her will or that she has been murdered."

Miss Longhurst, a teacher at Uplands School for children with learning difficulties in Hollingdean, Brighton, disappeared from her home on March 14.

She is close to her family but made no contact with her mother, Liz Longhurst, at her home in Reading on Mother's Day yesterday.

Relatives said her disappearance was completely out of character and they now fear the worst.

Meanwhile, new pictures of Jane have been released in the hope of jogging memories.

They were taken from a video of a concert at Uplands School, where Miss Longhurst teaches music and English.

Police hope someone who has seen her since her disappearance will recognise her and come forward.