POLICE are investigating the bizarre discovery of a human bone in a pair of socks sold at a Primark store.
An unsuspecting shopper made the grim find in socks they had bought from an outlet on Culver Street East in Colchester.
Essex Police said the matter was reported to detectives on January 2 after the original purchase was made on December 10.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the force explained there was no skin on the bone and they had contacted Dublin-headquartered Primark to find out how it came to be inside the socks.
"Detectives are continuing to investigate following the discovery of what is believed to be part of a human bone in a pair of Primark socks," they said.
"The bone does not appear to be a result of recent trauma and had no skin or other particles surrounding it.
"We are liaising with the store who, in turn, are speaking to their suppliers for more information on this incident. Enquiries are ongoing."
A Primark spokesman apologised to the customer involved for any distress caused.
He said: "Primark clearly takes this matter very seriously and has already carried out an investigation at our supplier's factory where the socks were made.
"No evidence of any kind exists to suggest that any incident has occurred in the factory, so it is highly probable that this object was placed in the socks by an individual for unknown reasons.
"Primark has been the subject of isolated incidents in the past which have subsequently been found to have been hoaxes.
"The factory has been used by other retailers and subject of many audits over many years.
"Primark sincerely apologises to the customer who found the item for any distress caused."
Primark - which trades as Penneys in Ireland - is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), a group controlled by the Weston family that owns Selfridges, Arnotts and Brown Thomas.
The Colchester store opened on the former site of British Homes Stores in February 2017 following a decade of talks and created 150 jobs in the town centre.