Fresno Police investigating possible homicide after body found near Fresno Pacific University

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police tracks cover every inch of a dirt field near Butler and Winery. For six long hours, detectives made sure they didn't overlook a single clue. It's their only hope in solving a gruesome crime.

"The person who did this really needs to be punished, with no doubt, they need to be punished," said Jacqueline Edwards, a Fresno mother.

Someone called 911 Thursday afternoon, reporting they found a body barely clothed near Fresno Pacific University. Detectives say the victim was an African American woman in her late 20s. They believe she was sexually assaulted then killed.

"Anytime you see a female who is located partly causes you some concern, a lot of concern and angst about what happened here," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

All afternoon, anxious neighbors walked up to officers. Some presented pictures of friends or loved ones who were missing or transient, hoping they weren't the victim.

"I have a picture of my daughter. And they said it wasn't her and I was like thank god," said Edwards.

"We suspect there maybe was a struggle involved and we want to look at every aspect," said Chief Dyer.

Police are waiting for an autopsy report to tell them if there were signs of trauma and the time of death. They're also hoping witnesses will come forward to fill in the gaps.

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