The body of a woman was found in a large container in a hatchback car in unincorporated Whittier on Sunday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Homicide detectives are trying to figure out the circumstances surrounding the death of the unidentified woman.
After receiving a call about an abandoned vehicle, deputies approached the car parked on Rivera Road west of Bradwell Avenue around 1 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Department. The deputies smelled "a very strong odor" coming from the red 1991 Toyota Celica hatchback, the department said.
In the vehicle's rear cargo area they found the body of a woman "entombed in a large container," according to a department statement. It said she appeared to be between the ages of 20 and 25, but her identity and cause of death are not yet known.
Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department, could not say how long the woman had been dead, how long the car had been parked there or what kind of container held the body.
One side of that stretch of Rivera Road is residential, and train tracks run parallel to the other side.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Those who wish to stay anonymous can call (800) 222-TIPS (8477), text the letters TIPLA plus their tip to CRIMES (274637) or submit information at lacrimestoppers.org.