Human remains discovered in Orange County

Human remains discovered in Orange County

Deputies in Orange County are investigating a grisly discovery made Jan. 1 near Orangefield, reports the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

According to a news release from OCSO, the office received a call in reference to the discovery of human remains at about 3:30 p.m. The caller reported finding the human remains in a wooded area off F.M. 1135 near F.M. 105 in the Orangefield area of Orange County.

When Deputies arrived in the area, the caller directed them to a wooded area off F.M. 1135 where they found the remains of what appeared to be a Hispanic male. The body was unclothed and decomposing, reports OCSO. Detectives believe the body had possibly been at the location for several weeks and are currently trying to determine the identity of the male. Detectives were on scene throughout the night and into the morning.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Judge Dunn arrived on scene and ordered an autopsy. The cause of death remains unknown until the autopsy can be completed. The body was transported to the Jefferson County Morgue. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available, says OCSO.

OCSO Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson said they are not yet prepared to release more information, but he hopes to soon.

“We should be able to put something out shortly, but I can’t do it until I get a green light," Hodgkinson said. "There is just so much involved in that case. You have a body that has been left out for several weeks. We think it was several weeks, but we don’t really know because the weather kind of affects the timeline when it comes to the decomposition of a body when it is left out in the elements."

Hodgkinson said rains and changing temperatures could have caused the body to decompose more or less rapidly, depending on the circumstances, and pointed out that warm weather in particular causes faster decomposition.

"We had quite a few warm days there for a while," he recalled.

Once the man is identified, the next of kin must first be contacted before the information would be released, and that could take a while, said the chief deputy.