ALTON – Carolyn Bourland just wants to see her neighborhood return to normal.
“We have a lot of sightseers,” Bourland told AdVantage News. “I can be standing outside and people will drive by and ask me if I am the one who found the body. There are so many stories going around; I just want them to find out who it is.”
On the afternoon of Aug. 5, the Alton Police Department received a call from Bourland, who reported she may have found a dead body wrapped in a carpet at a nearby house on the 2700 block of Powhattan Street.
“I had just pulled up and a little girl who lives on the street said, ‘I think there is a body in that car,’” she said. “I was like, ‘yeah, right.’ At first I thought it was just a Halloween prop or something, but as I looked closer the hair looked real, so I thought I had better make a call.”
Bourland, who has lived on Powhattan for the last 11 years and whose house is catty-corner to the house where the body was found, was waiting outside when police arrived to investigate.
Neighbors say police were on the scene until after eight that evening. An older model Mitsubishi Galant, parked in the carport, was towed from the scene around 6 p.m.
“There is another car that has been in the garage,” she said. “When this car showed up we just assumed it was being stored by the owners (of the property), as well.”
The Alton Police Department has released little information about the case, including the identity of the deceased, as the investigation is ongoing.
“At this time, it is too early to determine any sort of identification on the body,” Alton Police Department Public Information Officer PFC Emily Hejna said in a press release issued the day after the discovery.
Alton Police Chief of Detectives Scott Golike did say it appeared the body had been there for some time, confirming Bourland’s description of the appearance as “mummified.”
The remains are being examined by the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office.
For Bourland, she would just as soon not be a cast member in what is beginning to seem like a real-life episode of CSI.
“We are all in shock,” she said. “This end of the street is really quiet. We have older people that live here, and most of us own our own homes, so we try and look out for each other.
“The people in the neighborhood just can’t believe that body was there.”
More than anything, she is asking for curiosity seekers to stay away, let the police do their job and keep the neighborhood peaceful.
“I wish people would quit coming around like this,” she said. “If you don’t need to be here, don’t come. We have a lot of kids under the age of 10 here who play outside, and with the hilly street making it hard to see sometimes, I don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”