Body triggers homicide probe |

Body triggers homicide probe

The discovery of a badly decomposed, unidentified body Friday in rural Nevada County has triggered a homicide investigation because the body appeared to be intentionally covered with dirt, according to Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal.

“It looked like they made some attempt to cover the body,” said Royal.

Deputies were unable to determine the age of the individual but it is believed to be a male, said Royal.

The body was discovered around 2:51 p.m. Friday by a man riding a quad on a roughly graded dirt road on Forest Service land, about three quarters of a mile south of the intersection of Highway 20 and Chalk Bluff Road.

The man stopped to investigate after smelling what he thought was a dead animal. He called the sheriff’s dispatch and reported finding clothing and what appeared to be human remains.

The body had apparently been there for months.

The location was so remote that it took deputies almost an hour to reach the scene.

The sheriff’s office called in a special investigative team from the California Department of Justice with expertise in collecting evidence, such as DNA and blood samples, to process the scene before moving the body to the county coroner’s office on Saturday afternoon.

Royal said clothing was not searched for identification, which will be done by the coroner. It could take several days to determine the victim’s identity, he said.

The corner will perform an autopsy today to try to determine the cause of death.


To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231. To contact Jill Bauerle, e-mail or call 477-4219.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User