Police today issued a warning after investigating allegations that a former worker at the Jersey care home where where a child’s skull was found approached a victim and told them to keep quiet.
A child’s remains were discovered last Saturday at Haut de la Garenne, where more than 160 people claim they were abused.
Deputy police chief Lenny Harper told reporters police had been able to substantiate “to some degree” reports that someone had been approached by a former care worker.
He warned anyone considering approaching witnesses or victims that police would deal with it as a “serious criminal offence”.
He would not confirm or deny reports that the person said to have been approached was a resident in the home in the 1960s and living in Telford.
Mr Harper said: “What I would say, and it is a warning to any one with intentions to approach victims in this case to prevent them from talking to the police, we will investigate it as a serious criminal offence.
“It is a stark warning, we will not tolerate it.
“We know that it has happened in the last 36 hours, we are dealing with it.”
Mr Harper said the excavation in the field behind Haut de la Garenne had uncovered some bones, but experts were satisfied they were “not human”.
Forensic teams are currently working in one secret underground chamber where many victims have claimed they were abused and in which officers found two significant items, reportedly a bath and shackles.
The cellar, which can be accessed via a trap door from the ground floor, was “suspiciously bricked up”, police said.
“We are progressing the first room,” Mr Harper said. “We are carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the cellar.”
Once the work is completed forensic teams will attempt to get in to a second secret chamber, which they said is next to the first.
Extra support has been brought in to help the growing inquiry, which involves more than 200 victims and witnesses, 40 suspects and allegations of physical and sexual abuse going back 40 years.
More than 70 victims have come forward in the last week.
Twelve detectives from forces across England and Wales have been requested and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has activated its national information and co-ordination centre.