Residents in a Pasadena neighborhood were shocked Monday morning after a body was found burning in a grassy area.
Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell described it as a troubling scene.
Firefighters were called to a grass fire on Olsen Lane near Crestford around 5:15 a.m. After extinguishing the flames, they realized a person had been lit on fire.
A family who lives down the street fears the woman found in the field is their aunt.
They told KPRC she left Sunday night and hasn't been seen since. They don't know what happened to her.
"I felt something when she left, like something bad was going to happen," said Tania Montoya. " I got so scared when they told us that there was a girl who was over there and that they killed her."
Families who live in the area where the body was found aren’t used to many visitors, so the crime scene unfolding right in their backyard sent shockwaves through the community.
“This is a very quiet neighborhood and it’s rare that we have anything like this out here,” Mitchell said.
The fire was in a wooded area near a retention pond. Officers said the flames were shooting so high that they were visible from both sides of the street.
When crews tapped the fire out, they discovered what appeared to be a young woman’s body, partially clothed with a bra and undergarments.
Investigators surveyed the scene for hours and spoke to residents in the area while trying to collect enough evidence to piece together what happened.
Pasadena police say they do have a possible identity on the woman's body but they are waiting for confirmation from the medical examiner.
An autopsy is being done to determine how the woman was killed.
Anyone who knows anything about the crime, or possibly saw anything suspicious, is urged to contact the Pasadena Police Department at 713-477-1221.