MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Homicide investigators say a body found near a dumpster that burned last night in south Minneapolis is so badly charred that they can’t yet tell if it was a man or woman.

The fire was on East 39th Street between Minnehaha and Snelling Avenues in the tenant parking lot of The Minnehaha Condominiums.

Investigators were on the scene for more than five hours, using flashlights to scour the area after fire crews doused the flames. The fire was reported before midnight when Carrie Nelson was asleep in her house across the street.

“My dog woke me up right around 12:30,” she said. “I saw a lot of cop cars out here. I know they had already taped off the area.”

Nelson has seen suspicious activity in the neighborhood before this latest incident.

“There’s always a lot of stuff going on around here,” Nelson said. “I plan on staying here. I think it’s a part of everyday life now.”

Nelson says it’s unsettling to see this type of activity across the street from her home.

“Oh yeah, very much so,” Nelson said.

The burned dumpster was taken away and a new one is in its place. The medical examiner is expected to need dental records to make an identification of the body.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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