A partially burned body was discovered after firefighters extinguished a blaze along the Santa Ana riverbed trail early Thursday, prompting a response from homicide detectives.
Orange County Fire Authority crews were dispatched to a report of a brush fire on the trail shortly before 3:30 a.m., according to a Santa Ana Police Department news release.
After quickly putting out the flames, firefighters found a deceased person’s remains within the smoldering shrubbery where the blaze had burned.
Police were notified of the death and homicide detectives were dispatched to investigate the suspicious circumstances, the release stated.
Authorities have not yet identified the male victim and a cause of death hasn’t been determined.
It’s also unclear whether the person was dead before the fire ignited and what sparked the flames.
No further details about the case have been released.
Detectives are trying to identify and locate any potential witnesses, and anyone with information is asked to call the department’s Homicide Section Detectives at 714-245-8390. Tips can also be left anonymously through Orange County Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-855-TIP-OCCS.