Body found in suitcase near Phoenix dumpster

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A body was found behind a shopping center at 16th Street and Bell Road in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas A body was found behind a shopping center at 16th Street and Bell Road in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX – Homicide detectives are investigating after a body was found inside a suitcase behind a Phoenix business complex Thursday morning.

Phoenix police officers were called to the northeast corner of 16th Street and Bell Road at about 10:45 a.m.

Employees from some of the local businesses found a suitcase next to a dumpster, according to Sgt. Jonathan Howard with the Phoenix Police Department. They saw that it was out of place, opened it up and discovered what appeared to be a human body.

"There was a fairly new suitcase, by the side of it. Went to lift the case, but it was really heavy," one employee told 3TV off camera. "Opened up a little bit and just saw a body in it. No blood. We think it's a man. It had tattoos on it."

Responding officers looked inside the suitcase and called in detectives.

Police did not open the suitcase very much since it was raining and they wanted to preserve any evidence. So, they were not able to determine many details.

"I've been a cop for 20 years plus, and it's one of the very unusual ones," Howard said of the case. "It's scary. It's sad."

The medical examiner took the full-size roller-type suitcase with the body in it to another location for an examination.

It is unknown when the suitcase was dropped off at the location. Employees said they did not see the suitcase by the dumpster Wednesday evening. They believe it was placed there sometime after 10 p.m.

Police are reviewing surveillance video from a nearby storage facility.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department.