Bhubaneswar, Jan. 14: Airfield police today recovered the decomposed body of a middle-aged woman hanging from a tree in the area by the side of the busy road connecting Biju Patnaik Airport with the city.
The spot where the body was found falls in the airport’s high-security area.
Though circumstantial evidence suggests the woman was murdered, the police registered a case of unnatural death and sent the body to Capital Hospital for post-mortem.
“The autopsy report will reveal the nature of death,” said assistant commissioner of police Pranadhan Mohapatra.
A forensic team visited the spot and collected evidence. From the condition of the body, the police suspect that it might have been hanging there for at least 15 days.
Though the identity of the deceased could not be established, officials said it was a middle-aged woman. The body was found hanging from a height of 15 feet with a sari around the neck and it was in a semi-naked condition. The woman’s left hand was wrapped around the thin trunk of the tree. There were bangles on both hands.
The police suspect that the woman might have been murdered and then hanged from the tree. More than one person might be involved in the crime, as it would not have been easy for one person to carry the body and hang it from a height of 15 feet. The police also suspect that the woman might have been sexually assaulted, then murdered and hanged to lend a suicide angle.
The spot is around 20 metres inside a patch of jungle from the approach road to the airport near the city bus halt station. It is about 50 metres from the airport entrance gate. There is a path near the spot, which indicates that people frequent the area.
“We haven’t got many clues from the spot. The body could not be identified, as it had decomposed to a great extent. We will wait for the post-mortem report. We will ask all police stations to provide us with information regarding missing persons’ reports filed recently,” said Mohapatra.
As the land falls in the Airports Authorities of India limits, airport director Sharad Kumar visited the spot. He said they would step up security in the area.