How you can help Mexico earthquake victims

Police try to contact family of 21-year-old woman found dead in suitcase

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO -- Detectives had few leads Thursday in their investigation into the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase that turned up behind a Core-Columbia inn.

Investigators have identified the dead woman, but are withholding her name and place of residence pending notification of her family.

A man staying at the Chadwick hotel in the 600 block of A Street found the travel bag near a row of trash cans at the rear of the three-story building about 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego police.

Noticing what appeared to be hair protruding from a zipper on the case, the man made an emergency call, Lt. Ray Valentin said.

Patrol officers confirmed the death, then called in a homicide team.

A ruling on her cause of death is on hold pending completion of postmortem exams.

No suspects in the case have been identified, according to police.

Evidence suggests that the "medium sized'' suitcase containing the dead woman had been dumped in one of the trash cans next to which it was found, Valentin said. A man who wheeled the bins from the curbside to the parking lot prior to the discovery of the body told police it had felt unusually heavy, the lieutenant said.

Detectives do not know who removed the valise from the garbage can, according to Valentin.