A scavenger on Saturday found the unclothed body of a woman behind buildings at Lincoln and Washington, and police said they were investigating it as a suspicious death.
According to the 911 dispatch system, the initial report was of a nude body leaning against a building. The report said the person appeared to have a head injury.
Investigators were trying to identify the woman and determine a cause of death, Wichita police Lt. Randy Reynolds said. The woman was possibly 20 to 40 years old, he said.
"At this point it's certainly a suspicious death," he said.
Reynolds gave this account: At about 12:30 p.m., police responded to a report of a woman found dead behind a vacant house at 1142 S. Washington that sits next to an auto repair business.
The person who found the body was looking for recyclables and saw the body on the ground, Reynolds said.
David Goodwin, who owns the vacant house, said at first he couldn't believe that a body had been found near the house.
"I thought this was a prank call when police called me," Goodwin said.
He said he allowed police to check the house for possible evidence.
Police Lt. Ken Landwehr, who supervises the homicide unit, was leading the investigation. Landwehr and investigators remained at the scene throughout the afternoon, taking photographs, interviewing people and collecting items from a nearby trash bin, including what looked like a large purse.
At one point, a fire truck pulled up, and a firefighter used a ladder to peer onto the roof a nearby building.
Reynolds said it is standard procedure to check trash bins and rooftops at possible crime scenes.
Police weren't expected to provide additional information about the case until Monday.