FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a suspicious death after opening day of dove hunting season led to a startling discovery.
Around 6:45 Monday morning, dove hunters stumbled across a body in a rural area near Shaw and Zediker.
"They saw what appeared to be a deceased person in the field, they stayed away from it and called and then guided deputies into the actual scene," said Lt. Rick Ko with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators spent hours canvassing the area looking for clues and potential witnesses, but much of the evidence may be gone because the body appears to have been in the field for an extended period of time.
"The body has been there from several weeks to several months. We're unsure of the sex, race and identity at this point. The body was partially decomposed," said Ko.
There are also few clues about who the person may be, but they were wearing clothes. Deputies will be looking through missing persons reports as they work to find out the individual's identity.
Coroner's officials say x-rays and forensic tests will be what they are relying on during an autopsy to help them determine a cause of death. DNA samples will also be taken. Reaching an identity could take weeks or even longer.
Right now, it's unclear if the body sustained any trauma, and so detectives have little to go on as they work to figure out whether this is a natural death, accidental death or a homicide. At this point, it's being classified as suspicious.
Part of the investigation will also be interviewing residents who live in the area.
The autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.