Investigation continues into the burned body found near NMSU
POSTED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 6:48pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 7:01pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The investigation continued Tuesday into the burned body found underneath Interstate 25 near the New Mexico State University campus.
University police said the body was found Monday afternoon and they haven't been able to determine if there was any foul play involved.
"We have no reason to believe that there's any danger to anyone on the campus or the surrounding community," said NMSU Police Deputy Chief Andy Bowen.
Police blocked off Triviz Drive to Wells Street while they continued investigating.
After more than 24 hours on the scene, Bowen said they were conducting a 3D imaging process to create a virtual crime scene.
According to Bowen, smoke was seen coming from the culvert under the freeway in the early afternoon hours.
Bowen said there were initial difficulties accessing the culvert due to high levels of carbon monoxide that cleared overnight.
He said the body was then found by university firefighters when they put out the fire.
"They did not try to provide any assistance," Bowen said after being asked on the condition of the body when responders arrived.
He added the body was severely burned making it difficult to identify the person and investigators were unable to determine gender.
Bowen said it's not uncommon for homeless people to use the culverts for shelter and that will be part of their investigation.
"We've encountered vagrants here very frequently," Bowen said.
Students on campus said everybody is well aware of the investigation after being informed of the incident via email.
"It's pretty scary but I don't think there's too much to worry about," said NMSU student Colton Woodruff.
Students said activities on campus were normal throughout the day with no visible signs of added police presence.
The body will be taken to the Office of the Medical Investigator for further examination.
Police are asking for anybody with information to please come forward.