Body had gunshot wound |

Body had gunshot wound

Gregory Crofton

A body found Monday in a heavily wooded area near Fallen Leaf Lake is that of a 35-to 40-year-old white woman, said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department investigators.

A press release stated the identity of the woman is still unknown, but the cause of death appeared to be from a gunshot wound.

Detective Tom Hill, acting coroner for the sheriff’s department, said the woman’s body was intact except for the wound, but would not speculate as to how long it had been there.

“We just don’t know at this point until we get the autopsy results as far as the wound being fresh,” Hill said. “A big problem this time of year is temperature, it’s a real variable. You have to rely on experts.”

The corpse was found by a South Lake Tahoe man in his 40s who was looking for a fishing spot, Hill said. Initial reports over a police scanner stated the man discovered the body about a mile past the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground office.

Hill said he was the first investigator at the scene and pronounced the woman dead at 3:54 p.m. About two hours after Hill’s arrival, four investigators from Placerville and three more from South Lake Tahoe began an all-night investigation of the area surrounding the body.

“They brought out generators and portable lights and were using a lot of specialized equipment out there,” Hill said. “You just have a lot of area you have to look at. You can’t visually screen very quickly. It’s difficult when you’re looking for clues with patches of snow, downed branches, pine needles and terrain that’s up and down.”

The deceased woman had brown hair, was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed about 150 to 165 pounds. She will be transported to the Placer County Morgue where an autopsy is expected Thursday, Hill said.

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