Sunday, February 24, 2008

Child's remains found at former children's home

- Saturday, February 23 10:21 pm

A child's body parts have been found at a former children's home in Jersey.

The remains were found at the Haut de la Garenne site in St Martin by a team of specialist officers.

Police have said they "could not rule out" the possibility of discovering more bodies.
It is unclear how old the remains are but police have said they could have been there for more than five years.

It is not yet known if the skeleton is male or female but it is said not to be from an infant.
Haut de la Garenne is one of two sites which are at the centre of a States of Jersey police investigation into alleged child abuse.

The search was prompted by information received from some of the victims and witnesses who had spoken out as part of the child abuse inquiry.

Jersey's deputy chief police officer, Lenny Harper, said: "Because of the information we received we brought the team of specialists with us to prepare for the initial screening and search.

"As a result of definitive indications from the ground penetrating radar, the archaeologist and also, perhaps most pronounced from the dog, we excavated one particular area of the house.

"We discovered what appears to be the partial remains of a child."

The investigation into alleged abuse started in November last year and involves a number of historical allegations of sexual and physical abuse of children which is alleged to have occurred on premises run by the state or voluntary groups.

It focuses on Haut de la Garenne and Jersey Sea Cadets.

The allegations stem from a period from the 1960s up to the early years of the present decade.

Police have said the bulk of them focus on the 1970s and 1980s.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, said: "The discovery was made as part of the police inquiry into historic child abuse. Despite the passage of time, my ministers and I are determined that, if foul play was involved, whoever committed this outrage should be swiftly found and brought to justice.

"At the beginning of this investigation I gave my word that no stone would remain unturned and the police will continue to have our full support and all the resources they need to pursue their inquiries.

"It is imperative that our children are safe in Jersey and I believe that today they are. It is, however, clear that this may not always have been the case and although we can't right the wrongs of the past, we will do everything in our power to assist the police in seeking out the person or persons responsible."

Haut de la Garenne is a former Victorian school and orphanage which today serves as a youth hostel.

Original Article-

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