LIVERMORE, Calif. (KTVU) - A body found at the Altamont Landfill near Livermore was that of a woman, but the cause of her death isn't yet known, investigators said Wednesday.
The body was discovered among food and yard waste on New Year's Day at the landfill on Altamont Pass Road operated by Waste Management.
"We immediately confirmed that it was a human being in, among the compost," said Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly.
A worker was scooping up material when he made the grisly discovery on New Year's Eve.
"A very astute heavy equipment operator working in the green waste section of the Waste Management landfill noticed an anomaly in the debris field," Kelly said.
The badly decomposed remains were those of a woman. But it might take some time before investigators confirm her identity and the cause of her death.
"This is not a case where someone fell asleep in a dumpster or in a pile and got loaded into a dump truck," Kelly said.
The woman's death is considered suspicious. Although she could have been killed, investigators are looking into every possible scenario.
"Was this a case where a person may have overdosed and that the people around them decided, in order not to get in trouble, they were going to dispose of the body?" Kelly said.
What detectives do know is where the body most likely came from, after reviewing Waste Management records and manifests.
"Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward area, that it was brought in by a green waste truck, that that truck then went to the transfer station in San Leandro," Kelly said.
And from that transfer station on Davis Street, the body was off-loaded at the landfill. Authorities say the woman could have been missing for several weeks.