Authorities still seeking body after remains found in NE Smith C - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Authorities still seeking body after remains found in NE Smith Co.

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Authorities have the road blocked off while they investigate the remains. (Source: KLTV staff) Authorities have the road blocked off while they investigate the remains. (Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff) (Source: KLTV staff)
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The Smith County Sheriff's Department is investigating burned human remains found on Friday morning in northeastern Smith County. Authorities say the remains were found off of Highway 271 near Interstate 20 on County Road 371.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith tells KLTV that about five percent of the body was found rolled up in a carpet. The sheriff believes there are three potential crime scenes related to the remains, which have not been identified at this time because authorities haven't found the body.  Pieces of clothing and personal items were also found in the carpet. The carpet appeared to be permanent carpeting, not an area rug.

"We have recovered only a small portion of human remains at this time, which appear to be remnants of the suspects cleaning up a crime scene which more than likely occurred within a residential structure," said Smith.

Authorities think the remains were left at the scene sometime Thursday night. They were still smoldering when a sheriff's deputy arrived on Friday morning around 7:30. A caller told police she saw an older-model white SUV near the scene.

Sheriff Smith said he believes whoever dumped the remains was in a hurry, since they were left in the middle of the road.

A witness driving by on his way to work at 5 a.m. on Friday saw the fire in the road. He told KLTV he stopped to make sure it wouldn't spread, but didn't have anything to put the fire out with. The man said it looked like it had been burning for 30-45 minutes. There were flames leaping a few feet into the air. He said he couldn't tell what was on fire.

When he drove back by around 8:15 a.m., police were on scene so he told them he had seen it burning earlier in the morning. At that time, the witness said police thought it was just a trash fire.

Sheriff Smith is asking anyone who has any information that indicates a homicide occurred overnight or early Friday morning to contact authorities. Because of the location, the remains could have come from any surrounding city or county.

An accelerant-sniffing dog is being brought in from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to help with the investigation.

You can contact Detective Sergeant Clint Benson at (903) 566-6600 with any information. You can also remain anonymous by calling Smith County Crime Stoppers at (903) 597-2833.

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