GRASS VALLEY, Calif. - Law enforcement officials are deeming the Wednesday discovery of a man's dead body near Interstate 80 and Boreal Ridge Road "suspicious."
The body had not been identified as of Thursday night due to its condition, according to a press release from the Nevada County Sheriff's Office.
On Wednesday afternoon Sheriff's Officers investigated reports that a vehicle had been abandoned off of the eastbound lane of Interstate 80 just before Boreal Ridge Road.
A search of the area turned up footprints leading south from the vehicle about 75 yards to a nearby creekbed, said Sheriff Keith Royal.
At about 6:57 p.m., members of the Sheriff's search and rescue team, using a search dog, found a dead man in the water. The condition of the body suggested it had been there for several days, Sheriff's officials said.
Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit along with District Attorney investigators were called out to assist in the investigation to determine if the man was a victim of homicide. There were no obvious signs of homicide, but the investigation into the death is ongoing, Sheriffs officials said. There appeared to be only one set of footprints in the area, Royal said.
What the man was doing at the creekbed was a mystery Royal said. People frequently park vehicles alongside the road to relieve themselves, but there is little reason to walk that far away from the roadway, he added.
The man had an injury to his head suggesting he may have fallen into the creek, Royal said. Because the body was found in water and animals had done some scavenging, investigators weren't immediately able to identify the body, Royal said. Officials are awaiting fingerprint or DNA comparisons to positively identify the body.