Huge police search launched after teddy mistaken for child's corpse in Sittingbourne
by Hayley Robinson
A teddy bear mistaken for a child's body led to a full-scale
search by two police forces.
A worried man travelling on a train between Sheerness and
Sittingbourne dialled 999.
He claimed he had seen the shocking sight up a tree in woodland
close to the tracks, possibly near a pumping station off St
Michael's Road, in Sittingbourne.
Kent Police officers were called in to help British Transport
Police (BTP) investigators comb the area.
The police helicopter, which was scrambled at 1.40pm on Tuesday
to carry out an aerial search, was seen by witnesses flying over
Hawthorn Road, Chalkwell Road and Laburnum Place.
Officers discovered the large cuddly toy (similar to the one
pictured above) hanging from the branches of a tree near a bridge
at Charlotte Street at 1.25pm.
But they continued to search the area for a further 25
minutes until the witness arrived at the scene and confirmed it was
what he might have seen.
It is understood he was left feeling "embarrassed" by the
discovery, although he had acted with the best intentions.
Two dog units from the force had been spotted by residents.
Meanwhile, cars were stopped and drivers spoken to
by police officers at the junction of Chalkwell Road and London
The high police presence prompted people to post messages on
social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in a bid to
find out what was going on.
One wrote: "Does anybody know what's occurring up Hawthorn Road?
Loads police and a dog and now helicopter?"
A BTP spokesman said: "A toy was discovered in a tree in the
wooded area, no body was found and there are no suspicious
circumstances surrounding the incident."
A Kent police spokesman said: "Reports of this nature are taken
very seriously, requiring prompt action and as a result, response
and neighbourhood officers were called to search the area."
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