A WOMAN has been found dead, her body located in a park near a tennis court in Melbourne’s inner north.
Members of the public made the gruesome discovery while walking their dogs through the Royal Park at Parkville on Saturday morning.
It’s understood the woman’s body was found under a tree within a bushed area of the 181-hectare park.
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Victoria Police said they were called to the scene near the North Park Tennis Club, close to Elliot Ave, about 9.15am.
Royal Park – Melbourne’s largest inner-city park – is located next to the University of Melbourne and surrounds Melbourne Zoo and the Royal Children’s Hospital.
A large section of the park has been cordoned off between the Tennis Club and the Flemington Road Cricket Oval and declared a crime scene.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper from the state’s homicide squad said the scene was “horrendous”.
Speaking to reporters in the park on Saturday afternoon, Detective Inspector Stamper confirmed police were treating the woman’s “horrific” death as a homicide.
“This is a horrendous crime … it’s the death of a woman sadly again in our city,” Det-Insp Stamper said.
“Sadly at the moment we still don’t know who this female is, and we still don’t know the circumstance that brought her to the park or what happened.
“We’ve been working very hard since then to get some answers from the crime scene.”
Huge crime scene has been set up with a massive police presence at Parkville – after a woman’s body was found near some tennis courts at about 9:15am this morning.
Exact cause of death not yet known. @10NewsFirstMelb @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/wv2yQ9Tnoo
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It is not yet known exactly when or how the woman died, or if she was sexually assaulted prior to her death.
Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine her cause of death.
Forensic police have spent the day combing the park for clues, while SES crews conducted a line search of the park.
No arrests have yet been made. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.