The body of an unidentified person was found burning Thursday in a wooded area in Manorville by a passing motorist, Suffolk County police said.
Someone driving on Wading River Manor Road by Schultz Road saw a fire in the Otis Pike Preserve and called Riverhead police about 1:45 p.m., Suffolk police said.
Police worked at the scene well into the night. Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad, said police had no identifiable information about the person yet. A medical examiner was expected, Beyrer said. The Suffolk County Police Arson Squad and Riverhead police also were investigating, he said.
The Manorville Fire Department and Riverhead ambulance first responders were dispatched earlier in the day, along with State Police and a Suffolk police helicopter. It was not immediately clear why representatives of the state Department of Environmental Conservation were there.
At first, it was not clear if what was found was a human or a mannequin, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said. "We're not going over there and just destroy [the scene and evidence] . . . not knowing what you're running over."