The badly burned body of a woman was found yesterday by Baltimore County firefighters in a Pikesville park, county police said.
Police described the victim as a black woman, and were uncertain of her age. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy, said Bill Toohey, police spokesman. The homicide unit is investigating the case.
Firefighters were called about 5:40 a.m. yesterday after a resident near Gwynnvale Park reported a fire near a tree line in the park. When firefighters arrived, they found the body ablaze near the 1300 block of Idylwood Road.
Toohey declined to discuss details of the investigation, saying it might tip off the woman's killer, if an autopsy determines that she was a victim of foul play.
The discovery of the body unnerved residents who live in the quiet residential neighborhood. The neatly kept park is partially wooded and features benches, a children's playground and a basketball court.
Yesterday morning, Rolanda Turner, a neighborhood resident, said she saw police and Fire Department vehicles at the park. The neighborhood is located off Greenwood Road, near Old Court Road.
Turner heard from neighbors that a body had been found.
"This is a very safe and quiet neighborhood, and this is too close for comfort," said the 36-year-old paralegal, who has lived near the park for three years.
"If something like this can happen here, it can happen anywhere," she said. "I am going to make sure to set my alarm in the house tonight."