Authorities discovered the burned body of a man early Monday morning after extinguishing a fire underneath the Eastside Bridge along the east bank of the Walla Walla River in Milton-Freewater.

The fire was reported at about 1:35 a.m. After it was put out, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office arrived to investigate and found the body among burnt debris between two bridge abutments.

Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said the department had a possible identification of the victim Monday afternoon but had not yet confirmed it or spoken to next of kin. He said the death did not appear to be criminal in nature, though it hadn’t been completely ruled out.

Due to severe burning, the sex and race of the person were not immediately determined. The area where the body was found is often frequented by transients, according to the sheriff’s office, and has been secured pending further investigation.

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