Police in Kershaw County, South Carolina, came across the remains of a dead woman in a clothing donation bin on Saturday.
Authorities discovered the “virtually mummified” corpse between Lugoff Toyota and Camden West Inn at around 8:45 a.m. that day, according to Kershaw County Coroner David West, WIS reported.
“The donation bin had likely not been emptied in many years,” West said.
According to reporting from the New York Post, the coroner said the bin contained several old items, such as VHS tapes.
At first, investigators thought the body was that of someone who took shelter from the cold.
However, the body was too decomposed for that, leading officials to believe the body had been there for at least several months, West said.
While officials believe the body is that of a female, they were unable to specify the age or manner of death of the deceased individual.
“We are taking all precautions,” Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan said, WACH reported.
“SLED’s crime scene unit processed the scene as they would a homicide investigation,” Boan added.
“Unfortunately, it appears the body has possibly been there for months. It was badly decomposed and mostly skeletal,” the sheriff said.
In a statement to reporters, Boan said, “I can assure you that your KCSO and coroner’s office investigators are thoroughly working this suspicious death,” according to WIS.
“We will know more facts as the investigation moves forward. It is very early in the investigation. We are NOT ruling out anything at this time,” Boan’s statement concluded.
An autopsy for the body is scheduled for Tuesday.
Authorities discovered the body after a man passing by the donation box reported a “stomach-churning odor,” the Post reported.
The man further told officers that he had seen what resembled a human leg inside the donation bin, according to The Post and Courier.
The outlet reported that the body was found after deputies arrived at the scene with bolt cutters to remove the lock on the bin and take off the door.
West said that the DNA of the body would be tested to determine if it would match that of an unnamed woman who was reported missing.
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