A young woman's mutilated body has been found floating in the sea off a Costa del Sol beach.
Police are trying to ascertain the identity of the victim, who was missing both her head and hands, following the gruesome discovery.
The alarm was raised by a group of youngsters on a restaurant terrace around 5pm yesterday afternoon after they spotted something floating in the water and thought at first it was a person who was drowning.
Local reports said the woman was naked and also had a deep cut to her stomach.
Her body was found off a beach by a popular fish and seafood restaurant called Restaurant 200 a short drive from the popular resort of Marbella, between two areas known as Cabopino and Elviria.
She is thought to have been aged around 30 and is believed to have been in the water for only a short time before being discovered.
The area was immediately cordoned off by officers from the Civil Guard, which is the police force leading the probe, before the body was taken away for a post-mortem expected to take place in the next 24 hours.
Detectives are expected to start checking missing persons reports to try to put a name to the dead woman as part of their ongoing inquiries once they have a closer idea of her age.
Experts have said the fact she had no hands will complicate her identification because police have no fingerprints to go on.
The Civil Guard has not yet made any official comment.