REDLANDS - Sharon Polich saw something during her evening walk Tuesday that she'd never seen in her neighborhood before: A body.
The victim - identified by police as a 23-year-old Sylvia Marie Flores of Perris - lay on the ground amid the Almond Avenue orange groves near the Citrus Plaza shopping center in the unincorporated "Doughnut Hole" of Redlands.
"You don't expect this to happen in your own backyard," she said.
She immediately dialed 9-1-1.
Redlands police arrived shortly after 6:30 p.m. and surrounded the area, blocking of Almond near Alabama Street through the night. They postponed a search for evidence until sunrise Wednesday, said city spokesman Carl Baker.
Baker said it appears the body had been dumped in the groves, but did not elaborate on why investigators suspect the woman was killed elsewhere.
"We're investigating it as a homicide," Baker said.
Polich said Almond is busy typically at night with drivers often racing down the shallow and not-so-well lit area of the street.
She added that such a discovery is not common in her area. "And it really doesn't happen often in Redlands either."
Reach Melissa via email or call her at 909-386-3878.
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