San Jose Fire Capt. Reggie says firefighters putting out a fire in trees near Highway 85 discovered the body around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. Because the body was so badly burned officials have not been able to determine whether the person was a man or a woman.
A mattress and a tent were found nearby. Officials believe the victim was homeless.
The California Highway Patrol was initially investigating because the body was found near a highway ramp, but a CHP spokeswoman says the investigation has been turned over to San Jose police.
San Jose police did not immediately return calls to The Associated Press seeking information about the investigation.