Woman's body found burning in west Houston

Police say someone dumped and then set fire to a body in west Houston.

July 6, 2011 3:41:08 PM PDT
A chilling discovery at a local park when a body was found burning in a wooded area. Now police are trying to identify the victim. It's a place people bring their families, a popular park for joggers, and one of the biggest dog parks in our area. On Wednesday morning, it was a crime scene and the details are disturbing.

One of those who found the body here told us they were stunned when they realized what was burning. At first he thought it was a mannequin.

Just a few feet off Westheimer Parkway in George Bush Park, the only thing left that indicates anything significant happened is now a charred spot on the ground. Houston police say two eyewitnesses were driving by just after 1am when they saw the fire and pulled over.

"When they approached closer, they thought it may be a body and called police," said Jonathan French of the Houston Police Department.

Firefighters were the ones who responded first after getting a call of a small fire in the park and when they put out the flames, they noticed it was a woman. Police say there is no obvious trauma to the victim's body.

Police say the body was heavily burned. The unidentified female victim, believed to be in her late teens or early 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

They were able to determine the body is that of a black female. She was wearing dark blue jeans, black Skechers shoes, possibly a white shirt and a black leather belt with floral cut-out designs and silver studs.

Investigators can't say how the woman died or how she ended up here.

"At this point in time we don't have any good leads, so were looking for anything we can find," French said.

The body was found just yards from the Millie Bush Bark Park. Folks visiting are unnerved.

"There's a lot of bad people out there," said Jim Fesler.

In May, a woman reported someone trying to rape her as she jogged near the park. That's even more upsetting to people just trying to get their dogs a little exercise.

"That really does scare me a lot. Usually this area is pretty safe," said Kristina Penn.

The medical examiner is working on identifying the victim and finding out the cause of death.

If you have any information which might help police figure out the identity of this murder victim, you can call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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