Investigators are trying to piece together what led to a gruesome discovery in San Diego's East County: A body set on fire.
Just before 5 a.m. Sunday, San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies got a report of a body lying on a dirt road off Sequan Truck Trail in Alpine.
When they arrived, deputies found the body still smoldering.
It had been discovered and reported by a Sweetwater Authority employee.
The sheriff’s homicide, bomb arson and crime units were called out to the scene to investigate.
"At this point, we don't know if it's a homicide or a suicide or some other type of death, but we're here to find that out," said sheriff's Lt. Glen Giannantonio.
The next big piece of the investigation is identifying the victim. The difficulty of that task depends on the condition of the body, Giannantonio said.
Robert Pence, who owns a home nearby, was shocked by the news.
"We’ve never had trouble out here in the past. I’ve been out here for 10 years, and all we have is hikers out here and horses; it’s a dead end road with no thoroughfare at all," Pence said.
If you have any information about what may have happened, investigators ask that you call 858-974-2321.
Check back for updates on this developing story.