ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Police have opened a death investigation after a burned body was found in an alleyway in St. Petersburg Thursday morning.

St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez said the fire department responded to a fire in the alley behind a building on 2920 Emerson Avenue South.

After putting out the flames, they discovered a burned body and turned the investigation over to the police.

“We’re starting kind of from ground zero. The body is burned beyond recognition. We don’t know if it’s male, female. We don’t have the race or the age. It’s impossible to tell from the condition of the body,” said St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez. “We’re working all the forensics of the scene. The body will go to the medical examiner in hopes that the medical examiner can provide more information.”

Police are treating the death as a homicide and they are asking for the public to help them solve the case.

“We’re asking anyone who lives in that area or has a business in that area if they heard or saw anything suspicious, if they have surveillance video that seems unusual, please contact us and let us know and help us with this investigation,” Fernandez said.