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Police investigating Leesburg killing

Emergency workers responding to reports of a burning shed in the woods near a Leesburg park found the body of a woman police believe is Loudoun County’s first homicide victim of 2010, authorities said Tuesday.

Police had not been able to identify the woman as of Tuesday afternoon, according to county Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson, and it was not clear how long the remains might have been in the shed.

Simpson stamps on smoldering grass near the shed, right. (Caitlin Gibson/Post)

But investigators found injuries on the body that suggest a homicide, Simpson said, and believe the fire may have been set to disguise them.

The woman’s remains were found around 5:47 p.m. on Monday in a secluded, wooded area near Ball’s Bluff Regional Park by emergency workers and police responding to a report of a small structure fire on Ball’s Bluff Road, according to authorities.

A woman has been reported missing in the area of the Leesburg near where the body was found, Simpson said, and police are investigating whether the remains might belong to the same person. More information on the missing woman was not immediately available.

An autopsy was to take place Tuesday at the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Fairfax County, according to police.

There was no evidence of weapons at the site, Simpson said. No search warrants have been issued, he said, and he would not comment on potential suspects.

Simpson noted, however, that the shed was in an area of the park not generally used by the public and so anyone who took a body there would likely be familiar with the park.

Reporters have been told that they will be escorted to the structure where the remains were found after crime scene technicians finish their work.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Caitlin Gibson

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 24, 2010; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  Homicide , Loudoun  
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