Authorities investigating why body was burning in tunnel near NMSU

EL PASO, Texas - Jan. 28, 2014 Update: Law enforcement are at a culvert tunnel under I-25 in Las Cruces near Tortugas Arroyo investigating how a body ended up burning in the tunnel.

Check for more details as they become available.

Jan. 27, 2014 Story: A body was found near the New Mexico State University campus Monday and several law enforcement agencies are investigating.

"I am saddened to report there was a tragic incident near the Las Cruces Campus earlier today.  At approximately 12:32 p.m., smoke was reported coming from a culvert tunnel under Interstate 25 adjacent to Tortugas Arroyo and just north of Wells Street.  The NMSU Police and Fire Departments responded and found the remains of an unknown individual inside the partially blocked culvert," NMSU Police Chief Stephen Lopez said in an email to NMSU and Dona Ana Community College communities.

The death is being investigated by New Mexico State Police, NMSU Police Department, NMSU Fire Department and New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. The New Mexico Department of Transportation is also coordinating with the investigating team.

"At this point there is no indication of a threat to the greater university community.  The investigation into the identity of the individual and the cause of death are still underway and will last at least into Tuesday at the scene," Lopez said. As a result, we ask community members to take alternate routes around this section of Triviz Drive while the investigation continues.

Anyone with information regarding what may have led to this situation or the identity of the person found is asked to please contact the NMSU Police at (575) 646-3311.

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