SACRAMENTO -- It was a ghoulish sight, but this was no Halloween decoration. Police in Sacramento, California, launched a death investigation after spotting a woman walking down the sidewalk with a skull perched on a stick.
“She actually had a skull in her possession," Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein told KTXL.
Officers confronted the woman at an abandoned house, and their investigation began.
“A call like this is not something that happens every day," Heinlein said. "We hope we can get down to the bottom of what caused this person to become deceased. (The woman) brought the officers to the area where she located the skull."
“When officers got out there, they located a decomposed body," Heinlein said. Police found the human remains at an abandoned homeless encampment a couple blocks away.
Detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians spent several hours Wednesday afternoon and Thursday combing the area for clues.
Philip, a neighbor, lives in a house next to the encampment where he says the homeless woman he called “Victoria” has lived for years. He pointed to the exact location where the body was discovered, a few feet from her stuff.
A neighbor with a house next to the encampment said he smelled something foul but thought it was a dead cat.
The coroner will determine the sex, ID and cause of death.