HOUSTON -

Investigators spent hours searching through trees and shrubs after a woman's body was found burned in a passageway early Sunday morning.

The victim was discovered in a grassy area on the corner of Texas and Hutcheson around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Officials said a man walking in the area saw what he thought was a grass fire and called for help.

"He thought it was just a grass fire and he called 911, and when the fire department showed up, they realized what it was," said Sgt. Troy Triplett with the Houston Police Department.

Firefighters made the gruesome discovery while extinguishing the fire. Investigators said the woman's body was so badly burned, they could not identify her age or ethnicity.

"The only part of the body that wasn't burned was the left hand. Everything else was completely charred," said Triplett.

Investigators said this is an industrial area and is not heavily populated, especially at night.

"Arson was out here and they took samples. Once they get them back from the lab, then we will know from them," said Triplett.

Police will be checking surveillance footage from some of the surrounding businesses to see if there is anything that could help in the investigation.

Authorities say the medical examiner is going to conduct an autopsy to determine how the woman died or whether she was burned alive.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Houston police.