Authorities discovered the badly decomposed body of a small male in a lonely cluster of rocks in the Riverside County desert early Saturday, leading to speculation that it was that of a 10-year-old Beaumont boy kidnapped at knifepoint two weeks ago.
Riverside County sheriff's officials said they had not identified the body and that it would have to be examined by coroner's investigators. An autopsy could come as early as today.
After the discovery of the body, Beaumont police contacted the family of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez. The boy was taken from an alley near his home April 4 by a white man with a mustache who forced the boy into his truck.
"I'm hoping to God it's not [him]," said Yvonne Burkis, the boy's grandmother.
The body was found about 11:30 a.m. by a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger, who spotted the face and hands just barely visible under a pile of sand and rock at the base of a hill north of the city of Indio. The body was nude, with wrists and ankles tied with duct tape.