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Dumped dog sparks A12 closure

PUBLISHED: 17:42 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:26 05 July 2010

A FINGERTIP search of land alongside a major trunk road between Norfolk and Suffolk unearthed nothing more sinister than a dead dog in a sack.

A full-scale operation, involving two police forces, 10 officers, the Suffolk police helicopter and firefighters was triggered late on Sunday evening by a call from an alarmed motorist who saw what she believed might be a body being dumped near a lay-by on the A12 at Hopton, near Yarmouth.

A FINGERTIP search of land alongside a major trunk road between Norfolk and Suffolk unearthed nothing more sinister than a dead dog in a sack.

A full-scale operation, involving two police forces, 10 officers, the Suffolk police helicopter and firefighters was triggered late on Sunday evening by a call from an alarmed motorist who saw what she believed might be a body being dumped near a lay-by on the A12 at Hopton, near Yarmouth.

One lane of the Lowestoft-bound carriageway had to be coned off, resulting in traffic disruption, until the search was finally called off at 12.30pm today. A section of the old A12 in the village was also closed throughout the 36 hour operation.

Acting Det Insp Rickie Botwright, who led the search, said: “The lady who was travelling towards Lowestoft noticed a parked car and a man standing over what looked like a body with an arm visible. What she saw clearly frightened her and she telephoned her husband and then the police.

“The lady was obviously genuine and all the officers who spoke to her believed what she saw might be accurate. We subsequently had other calls from the public reporting similar activity.”

Acting Det Insp Botwright said a search was immediately launched, using specially trained officers, but the only thing found in the thick undergrowth - apart from rubbish - was a long black bag which was left in situ until daylight to be examined.

He said: “It turned out to be the carcass of a pet dog. It had been dead a few days and it is difficult to know how long it had been there but it is quite possible it is what the lady saw being dumped. On the other hand, she might have misinterpreted some other innocent activity.”

Whatever the case, he was confident there was nothing in the area - between the A12 and the old A12 in the village - that had been searched.

He said: “I have tried to contact the lady who initially phoned in to thank her and I would not want the outcome on this occasion to deter other people from phoning the police if they see what they believe might be a serious incident.”

Acting Det Insp Botwright said he would still be keen for anyone able to shed more light on the latest mystery to call him on 0845-4564567.

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