Authorities conduct death investigation after skeletal remains were found in Colbert County

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. - The Colbert County Sheriff confirmed that a death investigation is underway on Elledge Loop, just east of Muscle Shoals.

Sheriff Frank Williamson said that a badly decomposed body was discovered by a home-owner Monday evening, just yards from the home.  The owner told police she had noticed an odd smell for several weeks and had been searching the woods for the source.

"The way she described it, she said that it had been smelling, she had been smelling something but she could never find it," said Sheriff Williamson. "She went a little deeper in the woods than she had before and she did find a dead body."

The sheriff confirmed that skeletal remains were found in a patch of cane stalks. Investigators did find a source of ID at the scene, but there were also several other items found that belong to other people.

At this time, investigators say they have very little information to go on and are unable to tell if the deceased is male or female. There is also the question of just what the person was doing on the private property.  "Behind, back there where he was at it's easier to get into. It's not, the fence is not as good back there."

According to Sheriff Williamson, as best they can tell without a forensics report, there were no obvious signs of foul play and Williamson says his department does not have any active missing person's cases from that area.

The body will be sent to the State Forensics Lab for an autopsy.

Sheriff Williamson is hoping forensics can shed some light on the identity of the person that was found. From there, investigators can build a timeline of just how they got there.