Update: Essex Police seal off Oakwood Pond after “human remains” found

Crime / Sat 31st Dec 2022 at 04:34pm

Day 3: Statement from Essex Police

An investigation has been launched after human remains were found at Oakwood Pond in Harlow on Saturday. 

Officers were called to Fourth Avenue shortly before 2pm Saturday afternoon (31 December) following reports of a suspicious object in the water.  Specialist forensic officers have since confirmed that these are human remains. 

An investigation with Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate is underway and early enquiries are ongoing. 

Detective Chief Inspector Antony Alcock said “It’s the really early stages of this investigation and we are working to determine what has happened. 

“I understand that this is concerning news for local residents and our officers are likely to remain in the area for the next few days to continue enquiries. 

“We ask that the public respect the cordons in place and we will be updating the public as the investigation develops.” 

If you have any information, CCTV, dash cam or other footage in relation to this incident, then please get in contact with us.

You can let us know by submitting a report on our website or by using our online Live Chat service available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 10am-9pm.

Visit www.essex.police.uk/digital101 to find out more about our website reporting services. Alternatively you can call us on 101.

In an emergency always call 999. 

If you would like to make an anonymous report you can contact independent charity @CrimestoppersUK, by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

Please quote incident 582 of 31 December when providing any information to make sure it gets to the right person as quickly as possible. 


YourHarlow has submitted a request to interview the senior investigating officer.

Update: 1300 hrs Sunday Jan 1st

ESSEX Police has told YH that the searches are continuing at Oakwood Pond and the surrounding wooded area.

They are likely to be there for a number of days whilst enquiries continue.

They have also told us that it is too early to determine who the victim is and whether the remains belong to one victim or more.

They are hoping to update further tomorrow (Monday), once some specialist searches have taken place.


Day 2: 0900 hrs Essex Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the discovery of human remains in a pond in Harlow.

As darkness fell last night (Saturday) police installed floodlights by the side of Oakwood Pond.

YH revisited the scene at 9am on Sunday morning (Jan 1st).

The area continued to be cordoned off with police officers guarding the area on Upper Park, Hodings Road and the cycle track.

Two forensic units are in attendance at Upper Park where plain clothes officers have also been in attendance.

YH has contacted Essex Police press office for an update.

Update: 2000 hrs: Statement from Essex Police

‘We are currently on scene following the discovery of what is believed to be human remains in Oakwood Pond, Harlow.

This was reported to us shortly before 2pm. Specialist diving teams have been called and a cordon is in place whilst early enquiries are underway.’

ESSEX Police has sealed off a large wooded area in Harlow.

Oakwood Pond is situated at the back of Princess Alexandra Hospital close to Upper Park and Hodings Road.

Police have been at the scene since after 2pm and were still present at 4pm.

Officers are guarding the scene at a number of points. The whole of the pond is sealed off.

Forensic officers have attended at the scene by the Upper Park entrance.

YH has contacted Essex Police press office for more details.

More follows.

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34 Comments for Update: Essex Police seal off Oakwood Pond after “human remains” found:

Concerned resident
2022-12-31 23:06:29

What happened at the Shark Pub?

Concerned resident for how thick people are
2022-12-31 23:52:55

How would human remains have anything to do with a fight at the shark last night???

Concerned resident
2023-01-01 00:02:55

Anything could be the cause. Braindead.

Concerned resident for how thick people are
2023-01-01 02:17:10

Human remains mean it’s been there a while. If it was from a fight last night they would say body has been found

Not a thick concerned resident
2023-01-01 05:26:24

Not necessarily human remains are the remains of a human…doesn’t have to be there a while just means it isn’t a whole body. For example…if the animals have been eating it or something!

2023-01-01 07:18:30

This is someone’s son daughter brother or sister etc pretty sure they don’t wanna read that they have been eaten by animals!!!! Get a grip

Bored of the bored concerned resident.
2023-01-01 08:08:33

It’s life. People can comment with ‘hearsay’ but I can’t explain the reasoning behind ‘remains’ Muppet.

2023-01-01 09:30:23

Probably animal remains🤔😆

Brad C
2023-01-01 10:52:12

Concerned resident for how thick people are how PATHETIC are you? Why don't you think of the person who's lost a lovely one? What an idiot you are.. Instead of putting a pathetic name on here why don't you tell us your real name?

Steven Snell
2023-01-01 11:05:40

Police Forensic team has been in a house in Arkwrights all morning dressed up like space men, got to be linked surely. Still there now @YourHarlow

Bobbo B
2023-01-01 11:25:55

So much bad stuff over the 40 years have gone on there and hardly anything gets reported Should nuke the pond with the rest of Harlow

2023-01-01 12:10:12

Steven snell - I saw the forensic police in arkwrights. I live across the road and my neighbours said the police have been there since 10pm last night with sniffer dogs. Could be linked but most probably drug dealers as its rife around this area.

mrs wendy tubb
2023-01-01 12:49:35

Steven Snell. It isn't connect as it's to do with an attack to my son in his own flat. It was roughly 4.30am this morning that my son phoned the police regarding the attack. So not to with the police & sniffer dogs last night.

2023-01-01 13:07:12

Mrs Wendy Tubb I hope your son is ok. We live very close to the pond and hope the police find out what's happened. Crazy times

Wendy Anne Tubb
2023-01-01 14:05:30

His is just shaken & has been checked over at A & E after giving a statement to what happened to C.I.D this morning

2023-01-01 14:52:01

Probably all ponds in harlow should be searched its obvious

2023-01-01 17:06:56

It will all come out in the wash, why do you people have to call each other names?? People are just giving their own opinion, just because you don't like what your reading there's no need to aggressive.

2023-01-01 17:25:01

Human remains mean unidentified,dosnt say parcel remains.

Purl Jefferson
2023-01-01 17:54:20

People with there opinions aye …. Busy bodies !! And you wonder why so many crap rumours go around… mind your own business .com

sam huxtable
2023-01-01 19:21:06

For the concerned idiots suggesting this has anything to do with the shark are so endemically wrong it’s laudable. You can drag the pub through the mud as much as you like, for every one of you small minded fools that’s are ten beloved guests that love the shark and continue to support the pubs efforts to serve and entertain the community. I’ll wager that those that have made these baseless comments have never set foot in there. I hope you have a happier new year, you are clearly missing some joy in your lives. A person has died and you just want to slate a pub you’ve never been in have some respect for the dead. Shame on you all

2023-01-01 19:31:12

what happens if it was drunk people again?, hopefully it's nothing VERY serious

A Khan
2023-01-01 21:59:36

Does anyone know if that guy who went missing 9 days ago has been found? There was a concern for his safety I think

2023-01-01 22:21:54

A khan are you talking about the guy who went missing in broxbourne woods? His body was found on Xmas eve in the woods so sad This story is so sad too I was reading on Essex live that a 15 year old girl who has connections to Harlow is still missing I really hope she’s been found safe

2023-01-02 07:41:53

Well said Sam, trying to use this as an opportunity to denigrate a pub seen as a community hub is sad reflection on a ‘concerned resident’. Keep up the good work and happy new year

Bobbo B
2023-01-02 12:05:08

If plod are asking for dash cam footage and any useful information probably means the remains is quite fresh and not a decomposition stage yet

2023-01-02 12:17:29

The bottom line is - very sadly someone has lost their life, it doesn't get any worse than that!! May they rest in peace.

2023-01-02 22:09:06

I read on The Mail that a dog walker saw a headless human torso. I really feel for whoever found the remains. Must be horrible 😔

2023-01-03 03:40:09

Please you lot…. This is a person you are all talking about.

2023-01-03 03:41:19

Pip- well said!! 👏

2023-01-03 05:29:57

Everyone here speculating on what has been found must remember that until the police reveal the information - it is purely that, speculation. There was indeed an article that claimed someone said they now believe they saw a headless torso, however this information only came to light after the news broke about human remains. It is likely that the individual who made these claims just wanted a few minutes of press attention. Please be mindful of what you say about things like this as police do monitor online activity of articles and so on, so any false information could actually result in having an effect on their investigative abilities. It happens way too much these days because hearsay is a thing and it is indeed problematic. Until we know more, we should not be sat here speculating.

2023-01-03 07:46:37

May his/her soul rest in peace.

2023-01-03 18:09:04

Police have given you all the information you need to know at this point of the investigation. As someone said the person had family so please be respectful on here .. you all go on like old washer women . Show some compassion and empathy you idiots.

2023-01-04 00:26:07

Please everyone remember that who ever this human is - they had a family that would have loved them and would want people to respect that as any of us would. The human who died/murdered would have people out there waiting to grief. Please show some respect. RIP to the human who lost there life.

Helen G
2023-01-04 13:25:52

Can I echo the above sentiments? This is not an exciting break in the tedium: it’s a real tragedy. Somebody has lost their life in the most horrible circumstances, right here in the midst of us. Can you imagine the impact on any family members or close friends? The police, who want justice for this person, are tackling a really difficult job in conditions that are cold and wet… It is all so very, very sad, above all. If you are a praying person, offer a prayer that God will be present to help all concerned to cope. And may the dead find rest and peace. Amen.

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