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Update: Partially burned body found near NMSU belonged to unidentified man

By: Bill Melugin
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State University police tell KFOX14 the body found on Monday near the football stadium is burned so badly they couldnt initially determine the gender.

Deputy Chief Andy Bowen said Wednesday the subject was a man.

Officials are waiting for the medical examiners report to determine the mans identity and the cause of his deal, Bowen said.

As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday the body still hadn't been removed, as police said the investigation was taking longer than expected.

"The investigators are doing 3-D imaging of the crime scene right now, in the area where the body was found," Bowen said. "That basically gives us a virtual crime scene, so we can have an image of what everything looked like, where everything was located."

Bowen said investigators have not yet determined if the death was an accident or something more sinister.

"This is an unattended death investigation, any death that occurs that's not witnessed is conducted as a criminal investigation," Bowen said.

As KFOX14 reported, smoke was seen coming out from under a bridge near Interstate 25 and Wells Street on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

When firefighters put the flames out the body was discovered.

Police had to wait until Tuesday morning to begin their investigation because of high levels of carbon monoxide as a result of the fire.

NMSU police said they don't believe there is any danger to the campus or surrounding community, but students are still uneasy.

"I'm pretty shocked I guess, you never really think of anything like that happening this close to where you go to school and live, it's pretty shocking," said Ezekiel Montoya.

"It was pretty scary at first, it just makes a lot of questions come to mind and I'm anxious to hear what the final report is," said Breana Romero. "It's pretty gruesome, and scary and creepy but I just hope for the best, that it wasn't anything malicious."

 

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