A body was found Monday in Southeast Atlanta not far from where the car of Stacey Nicole English, a 36-year-old woman who went missing days after Christmas, was previously found abandoned, Atlanta police announced.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy on the remains, and agency officials said they expect to have a positive identification later Tuesday.
Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said authorities received a 911 call around 3 p.m. Monday.
"The decedent appeared to be that of an African-American female, but due to state of the body a positive identification could not be made at this time," Jones said in an email to The Huffington Post.
A group of men searching for scrap metal found the body under a tree in a heavily wooded area near the Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood, media reports said. The location is roughly one mile from the spot where police found English's car abandoned, but still running, on Dec. 27.
There was initial speculation that the tree could have fallen on the victim, but neighbors told reporters that the tree had been down for some time.
"It looks like [the body] might've been stuffed there," Warren Blackman, a resident, told Channel 2 Action News.
The victim had on khaki pants and was "buried face-down with her feet in the air," according to local resident Brandy Farmer, who also spoke to the TV station.
Police have yet to confirm the reports.
English was reported missing by relatives on Dec. 27. Her cellphone, iPad and the device that opens the gate to her condominium complex were found inside her home, but her white, four-door 2006 Volvo S60 was missing.
English attended a Christmas gathering at her grandmother's on Dec. 25. Afterward, she returned to her home in the exclusive Vanderbilt complex in the Buckhead neighborhood.
Robert Kirk, a nightclub promoter from St. Louis, was visiting with English, her parents said. On the night of Dec. 26, the two allegedly got into an argument and she asked him to leave. Nobody has seen English since that night.
Authorities recently said that Kirk has been cooperative and is not considered a suspect or person of interest in the case.
A Facebook page called "Help Find Stacey English" had a message posted on it late Monday night saying the family is "thankful and humbled by everyone's love, support and prayers." The message also states they are anxiously awaiting word from police on the identity of the body found Monday. "There has been no official confirmation that the body found...is that of Stacey English. Keep praying," the message reads.
English is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. She has brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair with blond highlights.
The family is asking anyone with information regarding English's whereabouts to contact the Atlanta Police Department at 404-614-6544.
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