OLD MILL CREEK, Ill. (WLS) -- Lake County investigators are left with far more questions than answers on Wednesday afternoon after a woman's body was found left on the side of a road in Old Mill Creek early in the morning.
For the latest updates on this news story, click here.
Authorities are hoping someone with information can help shed some light on the disturbing discovery.
"We're combing through missing persons reports, so any that are here in Lake County. We don't find any, we'll go broader, surrounding counties, surrounding states," said Lake County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
Janet Whitmore was heading south to work in the overnight darkness, around 2:45 a.m. She had her brights on and her eyes peeled for deer, when she noticed something on the side of the road.
"And when I turned to look to my left there was something on the side of the road, and it was an odd shape, and I thought to myself is this a bunch of garbage or is this a dead deer," she said. "And then I kept going."
It wasn't until daylight, more than four hours later, that multiple drivers called 911.
"Stunned. A little freaked out that that is what I saw," Whitmore said.
Covelli said his department is doing everything it can to learn more about a woman's body found dumped on the shoulder of Hunt Club Road, south of Route 173, at 7 a.m.
Covelli said this is a homicide investigation, and added that the woman's body was partially covered by a garbage bag when it was discovered.
"She is a Caucasian woman. Sheriff's detectives did observe some trauma to the woman's face," Covelli said.
Police said after an autopsy they believe her death was a homicide. Police have not said how she was killed or made public her identity, but the Lake County Coroner and Sheriff's Office said she is 39 years old and they are now trying to locate her family.
Now, Covelli says, the department is working backwards as the investigation into this grim discovery continues.
"Try to identify who this victim is, where she may be from, what she may have been doing and ultimately try to identify an offender and hold them accountable," Covelli said.
The sheriff's office has asked for the public's help with surveillance video and also hope to utilize license plate readers in the area to generate leads.
Officials said it's unclear when the body was left along the road but from Whitmore's account it would have been before 3 a.m.
"My hope is that if they can narrow down the time with at least me saying it was at least that early, that there will be some surveillance somewhere that somebody will see it," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Sheriff's Office.