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IE police find woman's body on side of road

April 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An investigation is underway after a woman's body was found in the intersection of Winchester Road and Scott Road in Riverside County near Murrieta.

Besides frustration for the thousands of drivers stuck in bumper to bumper traffic Thursday night, there was also a mystery- exactly why the traffic was so bad?

The reason is that Sheriff's detectives were investigating the discovery of a body about 15 feet off the side of the road. But for detectives there's another mystery, one that's going to be much more difficult to solve- exactly how did the body get there?

"They ended up having to block off a large portion of the surrounding area because they're trying to determine if this is a homicide, or a suicide, or a traffic collision," said Cpl. Courtney Donowho from Riverside County Sheriff's Department. "They just don't know at this point."

Detectives don't know the identity of the victim. All they're saying is it's a Caucasian female, 5 feet 3 inches tall, about 200 pounds. They think she was between 30 and 40 years old, with short reddish hair.

Detectives also don't believe the body was dumped at the location.

"We don't believe that at this point," said Donowho. "It is still a slight possibility, but there is a witness who says they had seen this individual walking in the area, at some point before we received the call of a deceased person there."

That call came from a passing driver. When detectives arrived, they closed off the area that snarled traffic for hours.

"A lot of this is a mystery right now," said Donowho. "We're still waiting for reports from the coroners to finish the autopsy and finish their investigation, and we're hoping we'll learn a lot more once that is completed."

Detectives are waiting for the coroner's report to determine the exact cause of death. If you have any information call Riverside County Sheriff's at 760-393-3500.