A FEMALE torso was found washed up on a riverbank yesterday, the second time in two weeks that a headless body has been found in the same area.

The remains were found by a woman walking her dog four miles from where the torso of Daniel Hutcheson, a former soldier, was found last month.

The latest discovery was made on the River Leven at Sandpoint, Woodyard Road, Dumbarton, at about 8.15am yesterday.

After a post-mortem examination last night, Strathclyde Police said the remains were those of a female aged between 12 and 22 years old. It was not known how long the torso, which is understood to have no limbs, had been in the water.

Detective Superintendent Stephen Ward, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: ''We are currently looking into all reports of missing females in the Strathclyde area and have alerted other forces, both in Scotland and throughout the UK, with a view to doing the same.''

A search for further evidence in the River Leven was scheduled at first light today. Officers were also planning to talk to locals and owners of boats moored in the area.

Detectives said there was nothing at this stage to suggest a link between the latest discovery and the previous case, but they are treating both deaths as


Yesterday's discovery was made by a woman who flagged down a passing motorist and asked her to call the police.

The motorist, who asked not to be named, said: ''I was driving to work and I saw a woman running towards the car, signalling for me to stop.

''I got out of the car and the woman said she had seen what she thought was the body of a teenage girl.''

The woman, who works in a marina near the scene, added: ''It's frightening to think that this could happen once on your doorstep, never mind twice in a couple of weeks.''

Joseph Law, 23, caretaker of the Marine Craft Gym which overlooks the area where the torso was found, said locals were shocked by the discovery. ''It makes you wonder how many more torsos are going to turn up in the next couple of weeks,'' he said.

The torso of Mr Hutcheson, 23, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, was found on the foreshore of the Clyde near Erskine Ferry Road, Old Kilpatrick, on April 26.

His remains were wrapped in material and discovered by two men walking their dogs.

Mr Hutcheson had been dismissed from the Royal Highland Fusiliers shortly before his 20th birthday and had battled with a drug addiction since then. He had previously served in Belize, Northern Ireland and Bosnia.

He was last seen at a homeless hostel in Glasgow in November last year. It is not known how long his torso was in the water or on the shore. Neither his head nor limbs have been found.

One theory being considered by police is that Mr Hutcheson was murdered over non-payment of a drugs debt.