DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Police say decomposed body parts were found under melting snow in an alley on Detroit’s east side.

The discovery was made around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday by tree trimmers who were working at Greeley and Minnesota streets, in a neighborhood near I-75 and McNichols Road.

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Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said investigators were unable to identify whether the skeletal remains belonged to a man or woman. He said because the body had been covered by snow, there’s no telling how long it was actually there.

Detroit has been covered with snow for months now, as the area experienced its snowiest winter since 1880 with 93.6 inches, so the body potentially could have been in the alley since December.

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The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office is working to determine the cause of death and whether any foul play occurred. An autopsy will likely be completed within the next few days.

Police say the case will be handled as a homicide or a missing person investigation depending on the medical examiner’s findings. An investigation is ongoing.

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