An investigation has been launched after human bones were discovered on a houseboat that was devastated by fire.
Police were called to a report of a houseboat being set on fire while moored on the canal in Wolvercote in Oxford at around 11pm on Friday.
Detectives believe the boat could have been torched some nine hours earlier.
The severity of the fire has so far hampered investigations into what caused it but officers believe bones found on board are human, Thames Valley Police said.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Bird, leading the investigation, said: "We have been working closely with the fire service to establish the full circumstances surrounding how the fire happened and now believe that the boat could have been alight at around 2am on Friday morning.
"The boat has been badly burnt by the fire and so it has been difficult for us to carry out our investigation.
"We have, however, found some bones on the boat which we believe to be human and are working hard to identify these further.
"I urge anyone who might have seen what happened or has information to help us with our inquiries and has not yet spoken to a police officer to come forward."
Anyone with information is asked to call Thames Valley Police on 101, or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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