The death of a woman outside a Santa Barbara County office building was being investigated by Santa Maria police on Sunday afternoon.
At 12:48 p.m., police were called to the 500 block of West Foster Road, where the body was found.
“We’re treating it as a suspicious death until we determine if it’s a suicide or a homicide,” police Sgt. Paul Flores said.
Crews initially were dispatched to the scene for a report of a body on fire, according to emergency dispatch radio.
However, Flores declined to say how the victim, described only as a white, female adult, died.
“I am not going to comment on the manner of death until we lock some things down,” he said, adding that the woman was found outside a vehicle.
In addition to police investigators, a Santa Maria Fire Department investigator was spotted at the scene.
The Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department operates adult and children’s mental health clinics on the street.
Flores said investigators had not determined if the death was related to the mental health facilities.
“We haven’t identified the person yet so we don’t know,” he added.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Santa Maria police at 805-928-3781.
Investigators do not believe the two deaths were related, Flores said, adding that it was too early to say definitively whether there is a connection.
Noozhawk.com is a Santa Barbara-based news website. Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz.