The body of Mitcham schoolgirl Tia Sharp was identified by dental records after she was left for a week in her grandmother’s insulated loft, it was revealed yesterday.

The 12-year-olds body was found by police at the property in The Lindens, New Addington, last Friday after an eight-day search effort.

The body was only formally identified yesterday, six days after she was found, believed to have been delayed due to the insulated conditions of the loft where she was discovered.

A post-mortem completed yesterday failed to establish her cause of death and a police spokesman said that they were now awaiting the results of further tests.

An inquest into her death has been adjourned at Croydon Coroner's Court until after criminal proceedings have been completed.

Dr Roy Palmer, who opened the inquest yesterday, said the body could be released to the family following the post mortem, unless Stuart Hazell, the man accused of her murder, orders a second investigation. That would delay the funeral.

Mr Hazell, the partner of Tia’s grandmother Christine Sharp, has been charged with Tia’s murder.

The 37-year-old will appear and enter a plea at the Old Bailey on November 19.