Updated at 4:35 p.m.: The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into a body found on Potters Road about 50 yards west of the intersection of U.S. 51.

A preliminary identification of the body of the 40-year-old white female has been made, but her name is not being released pending positive identification and notification of the family, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike O’Leary.

Investigators believe the body had been at the scene for less than 24 hours, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office.

O’Leary said the body was discovered by a passer-by at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, who contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to the scene, along with the Jackson County Ambulance Service.

The body was lying in some tall weeds and down a small embankment, only a few feet off Potters Road with knees bent upward.

Tire tracks appeared to lead from the body to Potters Road in the direction of U.S. 51.

Joe Moon, who works and lives near the scene, noticed something out of the ordinary at about 9 a.m.

“I remember seeing a couple things and didn’t think anything about it,” Moon said. “I saw something pink.”

An hour later Moon saw Ethan Hall, who also lives in the area, and Hall told him what he had seen was indeed a body and that he had called 911.

After speaking with Hall, Moon drove back to the scene to get a closer look.

“I could see jeans, tennis shoes, a pink jacket and blonde hair,” Moon said.

The first officer on the scene was an Illinois Conservation officer, according to Moon.

Hall was talking to his mother on the phone as he made his daily cut across Potters Road.

“I saw something in the ditch and said, ‘It looks like a body.’ I backed up, got out and my worst fears were confirmed.”

It disturbed Hall to find a body so near his home.

“It’s close to home, just a few blocks,” Hall said. “I’ve got a daughter myself. It’s not what you’d expect to see. It takes a little while to register.”

O’Leary would not comment on whether there was any evidence of trauma or foul play, saying the investigation is in its “very early stages.”

A death investigation has begun and is progressing, O’Leary said. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be assisted in the investigation by the Illinois State Crime Scene Services unit and the Jackson County Coroner’s office.

An autopsy is scheduled for today.

An Illinois State Police crime scene investigator arrived on the scene at about 10:30a.m., and investigators remained for several hours. Investigators combed about 500 feet on both sides of U.S. 51 before leaving the scene.

Updated at 1:55 p.m.: The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into a body found on Potters Road about 50 yards west of the intersection of U.S. 51.

O’Leary said the body was discovered by a passerby at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and he contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and its deputies responded to the scene, along with the Jackson County Ambulance Service.

The body, which O’Leary identified as a white female, was lying in some tall weeds and down a small embankment only a few feet off Potters Road with knees bent upward. The deceased was wearing jeans and a pink shirt.

Tire tracks appeared to lead from the body to Potters Road in the direction of U.S. 51.

Joe Moon, who works and lives near the scene, noticed something out of the ordinary at about 9 a.m.

“I remember seeing a couple things and didn’t think anything about it,” Moon said. “I saw something pink.”

An hour later Moon saw Ethan Hall, who also lives in the area, and Paul told him it was indeed a body and that he had called 911.

After speaking with Hall, Moon drove back to the scene to get a closer look.

“I could see jeans, tennis shoes, a pink jacket and blonde hair,” Moon said.

The first officer on the scene was an Illinois Conservation officer, according to Moon.

Moon said it was disturbing to find the scene so close to his home.

“It’s weird because you hear about it all the time,” Moon said. “I have a young daughter.”

O’Leary would not comment on whether there was any evidence of trauma or foul play, saying the investigation is in its “very early stages.”

A death investigation has begun and is progressing, according to O’Leary. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be assisted in the investigation by the Illinois State Crime Scene Services Unit and the Jackson County Coroner’s office.

An autopsy is in the process of being scheduled.

An Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigator arrived on the scene at about 10:30 a.m.

Jackson County investigators combed about 500 feet on both sides of U.S. 51 before leaving the scene.

Updated at 12:16 p.m.: Jackson County Lt. Mike O'Leary confirmed that a body of a white female was found by passers-by Tuesday morning near U.S. 51. 

The body was about 50 yards off the road. 

The investigation continues.

Updated at 12:05 p.m.: An Illinois State Police crime scene investigator and Jackson County Sheriff's Department are investigating the discovery of a dead body near Potters Road in southern Jackson County.

The road is off of U.S. 51 South outside of Carbondale, near Makanda.

Joe Moon was one of the first people on the scene. He works and lives near the site.

He said he first noticed something about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"I remember seeing a couple things and didn't think anything about it." he said. "I saw something pink."

About an hour later, Moon stopped when he saw an acquaintance stopped on the road and talking on his cellphone.

He told Moon it was a body, and he had called 911. 

"I could see jeans, tennis shoes, a pink jacket and blonde hair," Moon said. He added that he thought it looked like a girl. 

He also said there were visible car tracks in the grass from the body to the road. 

The men followed the directions of local authorities, who told them to stay away from the body and await the arrival of authorities. 

Moon said the first officer on scene was an Illinois Conservation officer, who confirmed it was the body of a young woman. 

Moon said it was unnerving to see such a scene so close to home.

"It's weird because you hear about it all the time," he said. "I have a young daughter."

Original from 11:30 a.m.: An Illinois State Police crime scene investigator and Jackson County Sheriff's Department are investigating the discovery of a dead body near Potters Road in southern Jackson County.

The road is off of U.S. 51 South outside of Carbondale.

No other information is available at this time. Check www.thesouthern.com for more information as this story breaks.

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