The decomposing body of an unidentified woman was found Thursday morning, dumped amid weeds in an abandoned lot in the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans police said.
An anonymous tip led investigators to the body near Florida Avenue and Choctaw Street about 8:40 a.m., said Officer Garry Flot, a Police Department spokesman.
There were no obvious signs of trauma to the woman’s body, said John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator.
The death has been ruled a homicide.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death was scheduled for Friday morning.
Gagliano said the woman appeared to have been dead for two or three days, and the body had begun to decompose by the time she was discovered. She carried no identification.
She is described as white and had on a light-colored tank top and blue jeans, with silver nail polish on her toes, Flot said.
One nearby resident, who asked not to be identified because of concern for his safety, said he heard what sounded like five or six gunshots about 5 a.m. one day over the weekend.
A few moments later, he said, a white pickup fled on Choctaw Street toward North Claiborne Avenue.
On Tuesday, as he mowed a vacant lot next to where the body was found, the man said he smelled something foul but thought it might be a dead animal.
He did not see a body in the nearby overgrowth, he said.
“I smelled something funny, an odor, and that was it,” he said.
Anyone with information about the woman’s identity or death is asked to contact homicide Detective Michael McCleery at (504) 658-5300 or Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111 or (877) 903-7867.