Body discovered under bridge near Modesto's Johansen High School

etracy@modbee.comJanuary 11, 2013 

    Erin Tracy
    Title: Breaking news reporter
    Coverage areas: Breaking news, crime
    Bio: Erin Tracy started working for The Bee in September 2010. She has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University and previously worked at the Daily Democrat in Woodland and the Times-Standard in Eureka.
    Recent stories written by Erin
    On Twitter: @ModestoBeeCrime

— Modesto police are investigating the discovery of a body found Friday night across the street from Johansen High School.

Police are terming the case as a “suspicious death.”

Police converged on Claus Road at Creekwood Drive at about 7:30 p.m. after a woman in the area called to say she saw a "suspicious object" and what she believed to be a body, said Lt. Rick Armendariz, a spokesman for the Modesto Police Department.

When police arrived, they discovered a body under the pedestrian bridge on the busy intersection's southwest corner.

Due to the position of the victim, Armendariz said investigators could not determine the age, sex, or condition of the deceased until the scene was processed and the Stanislaus County Coroner's Department was able to recover the body.

There also was no information on how long the body might have been there.

The area being investigated is right off the roadway in a landscaped strip between the Claus Road sidewalk and a noise wall that borders a neighborhood.

The pedestrian bridge across Claus was cordoned off with police tape, and the eastbound lane of Creekwood was blocked with police cars as the crime scene was investigated by homicide detectives. The department's technical van also was on scene.

The area is not well-lit, so firefighters were using generator-powered lights to illuminate it.

If the case becomes a homicide, it would be the first this year in Modesto and the second in Stanislaus County.

Police ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.

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