UPDATE: Deputies have released new information on the body found burning in a wooded area near the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A portion of the rest area on the north side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge remained blocked off Thursday morning after police say a body was found burning in a wooded area near the bridge Wednesday night.
Firefighters responded to reports of a grass fire at the rest area Wednesday around 8 p.m., according to Yolanda Fernandez, a spokesperson with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Amid the flames, firefighters found a body and called police, she said.
“This started off as a fire call because of a small grassy area that was on fire here by the Skyway Bridge. Then after [firefighters] put the fire out that’s when they realized they had more on their hands — there was a body,” Fernandez told 8 On Your Side.
Arson investigators were on scene overnight and faced challenges, Fernandez explained.
“This will be a very tedious process tonight because it’s all wooded and grassy back there and they have to work carefully to collect any evidence surrounding the body to make sure we don’t miss anything,” she described.
Upon further investigation, it was determined the body was connected to a missing persons case in Hillsborough County.