Firefighters responding to a grass fire in Sarpy County Monday morning found more than they bargained for. Extinguished flames revealed a charred body.
Investigators with the sheriff's department arrived at the scene, in a farm field near 231st and Highway 6, about 8 o'clock Monday morning.
Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis told Channel 6 News Producer Roger Hamer that they suspect foul play, and they are treating this case as a homicide.
Investigators from Douglas and Sarpy Counties along with the Nebraska State Patrol spent much of the day combing the cornfield just east of the Platte River off Highway 6.
With eyes in the sky and boots on the ground, investigators had a large scene to cover.
It all started innocently enough with a grass fire. A farmer noticed the fire and went to investigate.
He found something totally unexpected and called police.
"We did find a body in the midst of that area there," Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis said. "We do believe foul play is involved."
Investigators immediately swarmed over the area...looking for clues and photographing evidence.
Davis said investigators believe the unidentified body was there before the fire started. Investigators believe the body was dumped on a berm near a creek and set on fire.
Just how the body got here and how long its been undiscovered has yet to be determined. Investigators cannot say if the victim is a man or a woman.
With such a large area to investigate, officials took their time leaving no stone unturned.
One investigator found tire tracks that didn't appear to match cars driven by investigators or police.
"Most of what we've done already is just to diagram the crime scene," Sarpy County Lt. Steve Grabowski said. "We had the state patrol helicopter come out and fly over the area just to see if there were any vehicles possibly left in the area all up and down the creek that runs through there. We ran up and down the creek with the helicopter just to see if there was anything there so again we kind of working the crime scene right now."
At least for now, the big mystery is how did the body end up here.
"We're looking at missing persons we have the crime lab out here its early so first thing we'll try to do is determine who it is," Davis said.
The State Fire Marshall is also on location with a dog to determine if any combustibles were used.
The fire was contained to about a 20 foot square area.
Investigators hope an autopsy tomorrow will identify the victim along with provide some clues as to why the person was killed.