updated 9/2/2008 9:11:37 PM ET 2008-09-03T01:11:37

Police were trying to determine whether they were the victim of a hoax Tuesday after a "body" they found wrapped at a seaside resort turned out to be a life-sized doll.

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Investigators found what appeared to be human remains in a forest in Izu City, a seaside resort in central Japan, after an anonymous caller reported seeing it, a Shizuoka state spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

Investigators felt it from outside but never actually looked inside, and brought it back to the city police station for a post-mortem examination, she said. Apparently no one doubted a human body was inside until a medical examiner unwrapped it and found a doll there, she said.

The Asahi newspaper said the doll was sophisticated and life-sized, and wore a brown wig, a blouse and a skirt. It appeared to have been wrapped or enclosed in a dark green sleeping bag.

The city was participating in nationwide earthquake drills Monday, but the doll was not part of a readiness drill, the spokeswoman said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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