DETECTIVES believe a wheelie bin may have been used to carry a body from the murder scene to where it was set ablaze on a Southampton industrial estate.

Officers are working on a theory that the victim, who has still to be identified, may have been taken from a property in the Bevois Mews or Earls Road area in Bevois Valley several hundred yards to the Empress Road Industrial Estate late on Saturday or early on Sunday.

Yesterday forensic officers were at a flat in Bevois Mews which was taped off, with uniformed officers standing guard.

The police have also released details of a fourth arrest following the grim discovery of charred remains inside a commercial bin on the industrial estate.

A 31-year-old man was detained shortly after 10pm on Sunday.

It follows the arrest of two men, aged 28 and 25, and a 20-year-old woman on Sunday evening.

All were arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody at police stations across Hampshire. The four are from the Southampton area.

Det Insp Simon Baker, of the Hampshire major investigation team, said: “We are now working on a theory that the victim was murdered sometime earlier at an address in the Bevois Mews and Earls Road area of Southampton, and moved to the industrial estate, possibly in a wheelie bin."

DI Baker said the exact route wasn't known but appealed to witnesses who may have seen anyone pushing a wheelie bin in the area of Bevois Mews and Earls Road through to the area of Empress Road Industrial Estate near to Thomas Lewis Way late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning.

Officers leading the investigation said they were also working on enquiries that could involve the wheelie bin being put into a car before being driven to the industrial estate.

A post-mortem examination was continuing to establish the sex and identity of the body, and cause of death. The results are not yet known due to the condition of the body after it was affected by fire.

Officers conducted further searches and a forensic examination of an address in the Bevois Mews and Earls Road area yesterday, and at the scene where the body was found at the Carlton Commerce Centre on the Empress Road Industrial Estate.

Drains were being searched and officers were seen carrying away evidence bags throughout yesterday afternoon.

House-to-house and CCTV enquiries were also under way.

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting Operation Waterloo.