The body of a South Asian woman, 'almost decapitated' in a grisly killing, washed up on a remote beach in the New Territories yesterday, sparking a huge search and murder investigation. A 500-metre trail of blood extended from a hillside near a temple to a footpath in Castle Peak Road at Dragon Beach in Tsing Lung Tau. Police said she was probably killed on the hillside and thrown into the sea. 'It is possible blood was left behind by the murderer while escaping from the crime scene,' Superintendent Albert Hui Kwai-sang, of the New Territories South regional crime unit, said. Public hospitals have been told to look out for suspicious people seeking treatment. Officers believe the victim and the killer might have known each other, as there were no defensive wounds on the body and no sign of fighting was detected at the crime scene. The woman, whose identity has not been established, is thought to have been in her mid 20s or early 30s, police said. She was 1.65 metres tall and of medium build. Police suspect she was Indian or Pakistani. The body was clothed only in underwear when it was found by an elderly woman at about 6.45am yesterday. 'There were severe and deep cuts to her neck that extended to the back of the neck. She was almost decapitated,' a police officer said. 'No other injuries were found on the body and there was no sign she was sexually attacked. An initial examination indicated that she had been dead for less than 10 hours.' A pool of blood was found at the hillside, about 100 metres from where the body was found. A handbag, a wallet containing more than HK$100, as well as two dresses - black and green - were found at the hillside. 'We don't rule out the possibility that she was killed at the hillside and pushed into the sea,' Hui said. He said the victim was probably murdered late on Thursday night. 'Her throat was severed and we believe this was the cause of death,' he added. Police said it was not clear how many people were involved in the killing. Officers launched a land and sea search for the victim's identification documents and for any weapon that may have been used in the crime. By 11am, more than 50 police officers, including those from the police tactical unit, and a tracker dog, were searching the coastline and hillside. About three hours later, a team of divers from the force's special duties squad, known as the Flying Tigers, began an underwater search. At about 4pm, divers found a knife at the bottom of the sea off the beach. It was taken for examination. Police also checked footage of surveillance cameras from Sea Crest Villa, a nearby housing estate. Last night, officers were checking missing persons records in an effort to establish the victim's identity. No arrests have been made. Anyone who thinks they know the identity of the woman or has information on the murder is urged to contact police on 9466 1573. Police figures show seven homicides were reported in the first six months of this year. There were 17 cases in the same period last year.The number of homicide cases dropped to 35 for the whole of last year from 47 in 2009.