ATHOL (CBS) — A woman was found dead near the wastewater treatment plant in Athol on Monday. Police said the body was spotted near the entrance of the plant on Jones Street early in the morning.

The death “is considered criminal in nature,” a police statement said.

The woman is white and believed to be in her 20s but has not been publicly identified.

About a dozen police officers converged on a home on South Street just after 9 p.m. taking pictures and collecting evidence. The home is just yards from where the woman’s body was found.

Neighbors say it’s surprising because everybody knows one another.

“I was like are you kidding me?” neighbor Joe Harris said. “This neighborhood is a great neighborhood. Everybody gets along great and you know the vehicles that come in and out of here.”

Police cars and tape lined the street all day, neighbors took pictures out their windows of the unusual scene.

Police in Athol investigate death of woman near Wastewater Treatment plant (WBZ-TV)

“It’s crazy. I come down here all the time and have some beers with some friends but I never thought this would happen here ever,” said Missi LeClaire.

LeClaire is friends with a handful of homeless men who live in a camp near the crime scene, and says they were interviewed by police.

“They’re good guys. Just because they’re homeless doesn’t mean they’re like that, they’re good men, they’re good people,” LeClaire said.

Investigators haven’t said who the woman is or how she died and neighbors are eager to learn if they’re safe.

“It’s too bad and hopefully they find out what’s going on,” Harris said. “I’d like to know what happened.”

Police are waiting for the results of an autopsy before they say how the woman died.

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