Toddler finds burned body

A St. Paul Minnesota toddler found a body in the alleyway behind his house this morning, at about 8:25 am. He was playing back there after he and his mother had brought his sisters to the bus stop.

The boy, a 3-year-old, ran to his parents and  brought them to see. Kelly Stevens is a nearby neighbor and she says the family came to her, told her of what the boy had found.

“She dialed 911 and the police came to the alley, which is near the intersection of Westminster Street and E. Geranium Avenue in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood”, said Sgt. John Keating, a spokesman for the St. Paul PD.

Stevens says she stood about 15 feet away, observing the body.

“It looked dark,” she said about the burns. “I could smell it. It was a stench, it was rancid smelling.”

“The burns were significant enough for us not to be able to determine the gender,” said Senior commander Bill Martinez, head of the Police Homicide Unit.  

“The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy and work to determine the person’s identity and cause of death”, Martinez said.

“Police also haven’t determined whether the death was a homicide”, Martinez said this morning. “We’re still at the really early stages of this investigation,” and “Police are processing the scene looking for evidence”

Kelly Stevens said her three dogs, Cocker Spaniels, “have been going crazy at the back fence” since Monday, but she assumed it was wild turkeys roaming in the area. Now she’s wondering if they’d  actually detected the body.

As of Wednesday afternoon no leads have been announced and anyone with any information is encouraged to call the St. Paul Police Department at: 651-266-5650.