LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) Police were examining the remains of a body today which they found in a house in Kent as part of a fresh investigation into the disappearance of a teenage girl 16 years ago.
Dinah McNicol was 18 when she vanished after failing to return to her home in Essex after a music festival in Liphook, Hampshire, in the summer of 1991.
She was last seen hitching a lift with a man on the M25 motorway.
Neither the driver or the car has ever been traced.
Detectives from Essex police said they were now looking at whether human remains, which post mortem tests revealed were female, were those of McNicol.
''It has not been possible at this stage to establish cause of death or anything more about the remains, such as age or time of death. It is also too early to say whether the remains are those of Dinah McNicol,'' a police spokeswoman said.
But officers had also found personal effects which were not consistent with information they had about McNicol, she said.
Detectives said it might be some days before they could be certain about the identity of the body, which was found at a house in Margate.
''This type of investigation can be a frustratingly slow process, no more so than for the family of Dinah who are waiting to see if the work we are undertaking will bring them the answers they need,'' said Superintendent Tim Wills.
Media reports said the house where the remains were found once belonged to Peter Tobin, a 61-year-old handyman who was jailed in May for the rape and murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk, whose body was found under the floor of a Glasgow church.
Tobin is now being investigated by police across Britain who suspect he may have murdered up to 11 girls, the reports said.
REUTERS SV ND1410