Belleville police and a deputy coroner were investigating in a wooded area Sunday afternoon in West Belleville after a man's decomposing body was found.
A neighbor, who said he did not want to be publicly identified, reported finding a body.
The neighbor told the BND that he was doing yard work and was preparing to throw some debris into the heavily wooded ravine south of the street. While doing so, he said, he saw a shoe and then a foot in a sock.
"Officers on scene observed human remains of an older adult male with a light complexion in advanced stages of decomposition near the tree line," Master Sgt. Todd Keilbach said in an email.
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Keilbach said officers continue to investigate, saying they believe the death may have occurred under suspicious circumstances.
St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. confirmed a deputy coroner investigator was called to the scene and was working with police on the case.
Belleville police said they had been called to the 300 block of North 66th Street at about 2:30 p.m. and began their investigation. Several officers had cordoned off North 66th Street with crime scene tape as more investigators arrived at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
The area is behind the 4204 Main St. banquet center at 6435 W. Main St.
Todd Watson, another neighbor who lives up a hill closer to Main Street, said he's lived in the area for at least six years and considers it quiet, saying the patrons of the banquet center tend to be responsible.
"As far as I know, nothing weird or creepy or different (has happened before)," Watson said of the neighborhood.
Belleville police are asking anyone with information to call 618-234-1212 or Crimestoppers at 866-371-8477.
Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND