A homeless man lay dead in a tent for up to a year before being found, police have revealed.
The body was discovered near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, in such a state of decomposition that officers have been unable to identify for certain who he was.
A member of the public made the grisly find after coming across the tent – hidden in a thicket of trees off the A370 – and peaking inside.
PC Andy Henderson, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a really sad case of a man who appears to have been sleeping rough and whose death seems to have gone unreported.
“It would appear he had been dead for up to a year before he was found and due to the condition of the remains it has been extremely difficult to establish who he is.”
He added that documentation including a driving licence and birth certificate were found when the corpse was first discovered on 15 August last year.
They suggest the man may have been called Peter Thomas Harrison and was probably from Birmingham. He may have been aged 59 or 60.
However, because the body had deteriorated, it has been impossible to confirm for sure.
Nearby homes and businesses all told officers they had been unaware of the tent or its occupant.
Police are now appealing for anyone who might have known the man to come forward after all other leads were exhausted.
PC Henderson added: “We also believe he was a driver by trade and had spent recent years living in and around the Weston area.
“We’d rather his next-of-kin not find out about his death in this manner but feel strongly that, given the length of time, it is important they know.
“If you are the man’s next-of-kin, or have any information which could help us identify them, please contact our investigations unit.”
Anyone with information should called police on 101 and provide the reference number 5217187006.