Update: The body found in Osanippa Creek off of Hopewell Road early today has been positively identified as Renee Eldridge, the Alabama Medical Examiner's Office said in a release to Valley, Ala. authorities.
Eldridge, 25, of Columbus died of blunt force trauma to the head, authorities said. She had been reported missing by family members on Saturday.
Family members had been notified of the medical examiner's identification of Eldridge before the name was released. "They found my daughter," said her father Ricky Eldridge. "She's gone."
The death is now a joint homicide investigation by the Valley Police Department and Columbus Police Department. Anyone with information on the case should call Valley Police at 334-756-5200 or the Valley Area Crime Stoppers at 334-756-8200.
Update (1:15 p.m.): Valley Police Maj. Mike Reynolds said detectives are still on the scene where they found the body.
They are still waiting on a positive ID from the medical examiner's office, he said.
Original story: Valley Police launched an investigation after discovering a body floating in a creek this morning.
Authorities have yet to identify the deceased, but they referred to the individual as a homicide victim.
Around 3 a.m., Valley officers were checking the bridge on Hopewell Road near the intersection of Fairfax Bypass. Drug users often visit an area under the bridge, Valley Police Maj. Mike Reynolds said.
At that time, official spotted a body floating in the creek, the release states. Valley detectives, Valley EMS, East Alabama Fire units and the Chambers County Coroner were then called to the scene, police said.
Reynolds said the body appeared to be that of a white female in her late to mid-20s. It appears as if she has reddish hair of a medium length, he added.
"At this point in the investigation it is unknown how long she had been in the water prior to discovery," Reynolds said in the release.
Columbus Police are coordinating with the Valley Police Department because there is currently a missing person report in Columbus, Maj. Gil Slouchick said.
No identification of the body has been made. They do not know if it's the same person, he said.
Columbus Police investigators currently are on the way to Valley, Slouchick said around 8:30 a.m.
The body is being transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Montgomery, where an autopsy will be performed.
Authorities would like anyone with information concerning the identity of the victim or knowledge of this case to call the Valley Police Department at (334) 756-5200 or the Valley Area Crime Stoppers at (334) 756-8200.