Woman's burned body found in fire pit

Published 05/13 2014 06:45PM

Updated 05/13 2014 11:22PM

BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern County Sheriff's detectives confirm a woman's burned body was found in a fire pit off Edison Highway on Monday. Detectives are calling her death suspicious.

Tuesday afternoon, the owner of the property, Rodger Max Reyes, gave 17 News a tour of his property that he allows friends to stay at for free, but said the deceased woman is a mystery to him.

"If someone finds a body back here, I should be in jail, but I'm still here," said Reyes. "So it's big lies. It's nothing true."

Detectives, however, said a woman's body was found there after deputies were called Monday morning on a report of a weekend homicide. Their preliminary search turned up what looked like human remains in a fire pit at the back of the property. Detectives obtained a search warrant and confirmed Tuesday the body is that of a woman, but said it's unclear how she died.

"The person's body was in the fire pit. It had been burned, but we don't know how the person died," said Ray Pruitt, Kern County Sheriff's Department. "Obviously that's suspicious, so we're moving forward with homicide investigation and treating it as a homicide."

Reyes lives on the property with his son and nephew, who are both in their 20's. He doesn't rent the trailers, but allows friends to stay on his land free of charge. He wasn't sure how many people were there over the weekend.

"I don't feel like I need to count how many are here or how many go."

Saturday night, Reyes said his son and nephew were barbecuing in the pit. He believes a friend who called the Sheriff's Office reporting the possible homicide, might have had too much to drink.

Detectives interviewed several people at the property Monday, but said no one is a suspect until they determine the woman's cause of death. She has not been identified.

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