GARDAÍ are now pursuing the possibility that the body found along the old Midleton Youghal railway line could be those of a female.
DNA sampling and dental records are expected to be a key tool in identifying the remains, which were found by workers developing a greenway along the old railway line on Tuesday.
Items of clothing and other materials found close to the remains will also be examined as possible clues in identifying the person’s identity.
It was initially thought the remains were male when the skull was first found. However, a meticulous search of the area by gardaí led to the discovery of further skeletal remains, which have led investigators to believe the remains could be belonging to a woman.
Gardaí are now looking back over the files of missing people in the area in recent decades as part of their bid to identify the body.
While they initially thought the remains were historical, gardaí are now exploring the possibility that they are more recent.
The remains have been examined by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster at Cork University Hospital.
The horrifying discovery was made near the 'Shanty Gate' on the old railway line at Westpark, 3km east of Midleton, at around 4.30pm on Tuesday.
The scene was sealed off by gardaí, who said they were treating the discovery as suspicious.