Body discovered in patch of woods in Indian Trail

A body found in the woods has left a community asking a number of questions. 

The body was discovered near the intersection of Sunnyside Circle and Independence Drive, a quiet area wedged between a shopping plaza and a church. 

Neighbors told FOX 46 Charlotte they were shocked when they learned there was a dead body in a patch of woods right outside their front door. 

A foul odor coming from the woods got the attention of a utility worker around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. 

"The call came from a gentlemen with a utility company who was working in this general vicinity. He reported smelling an odor and there being a suspicious person in the wooded area just behind me," Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff's Office said. 

Folks who live nearby said this is a quiet neighborhood nestled behind Chick-fil-A and in front of First Baptist Church. 

"Scared me to death when he told me what was there. And that's all he'd tell me," Joyce Derrick said, a neighbor. 

Investigators are considering the possibility that the body could be Nathaniel Townsend who was reported missing by his wife on October 24. He was last seen near the Chick-fil-A on that date. 

"We don't know if in fact this body is in fact Mr. Townsend but we have to look at the possibility," Underwood said. 

The next step in the investigation is finding out the identity of the body and cause of death to determine whether there was any foul play.