A murder investigation has been launched after the remains of a man were found wrapped in an "Ikea bag" in a woodland beauty spot. The body was found near Hollow Ponds in Epping Forest, East London, at around 7pm on Wednesday 9 September, after a member of the public reportedly "spotted a load of rats scurrying around some bushes".

The body was found partially buried and wrapped in some Ikea-style, blue plastic bags in a wooded area close to Whipps Cross University Hospital, the BBC reported. A post-mortem examination has confirmed that the man was murdered and Scotland Yard said the body may have been lying there for weeks.

"We were called just after 7pm on Wednesday night to reports of a body found at the location," a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said. "Officers are at the scene making inquiries."

Police have confirmed the identity of the victim and his next of kin have been informed. However, officers have not released the name of the victim.

Det Ch Insp Jamie Piscopo, who is leading the investigation, told the BBC: "Hollow Ponds is a busy and popular local beauty spot, with a cafe and a boating lake. It is also surrounded by a number of busy roads, including Whipps Cross Road. We would like to speak to anyone who may have been in the area the last several weeks, and may have witnessed any unusual or suspicious activity, to come and speak to us."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, by ringing 0800 555 111.