Schoolgirl Tia’s remains were “unrecognisable” when the body was discovered in her grandmother Christine Sharp’s loft, sources told The Sun newspaper.

Police had to rely on dental records to positively identify Tia as the body was in such a mess, the sources added.

An inquest into her death was opened yesterday, at which it was revealed the body had been formally identified as Tia’s.

The post-mortem process concluded last night, but the cause of Tia’s death has still not been established.

The body can now be released to the family – unless the accused, Stuart Hazell, requests a second post-mortem by a different pathologist, which is within his rights.

If Hazell were to do so, it would further delay Tia’s funeral.

Reports suggest that police officers suspect Tia was smothered, but it is understood that there is no hard evidence as yet.

The body was discovered after several searches of Christine Sharp’s house. Christine, 46, shares the house with her partner, Hazell, 37.

Hazell is currently being held at a top security jail on suspicion of Tia’s murder.

The police are now awaiting the results of further tests on Tia’s body.

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