The body recovered from an ornamental well in a Surrey garden had not been there for more than a matter of weeks, Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons told reporters at the scene.
He said: "It's not been there for an extended period of time, it will be a matter of weeks at the most."
He was not prepared to discuss who lives in the house, or a suggestion that the body was wrapped in carpet. He could not confirm or deny whether the body was intact.
More top news
Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children's home in Hounslow between 1979 and 1981.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso has released a YouTube video reassuring fans that he is well after crashing heavily in testing last weekend
The dress that has got the world on a tailspin shows us how complicated our colour perception is.