Authorities are investigating the death of a 49-year-old woman whose body was found Wednesday afternoon in an abandoned building in Tuolumne.
The body of Janet McCown was found about 2 p.m. by two young girls in the former Tuolumne Fireman’s Theatre, near Main and Chestnut streets.
Tuolumne Youth Center coordinator Robert Johnson said he went to check it out after the girls alerted him of their find.
McCown’s body was about 25 feet from the entrance of the building and appeared as if she had been dead for several days, Johnson said.
Johnson said he recognized McCown, who he frequently saw walking around town, by the backpack and other belongings that were near her body in the abandoned building, which is known to be frequented by transients.
McCown’s nephew, Floyd Crow, said the family hadn’t heard from McCown in four or five days.
McCown had also been taking several medications, according to Crow’s girlfriend, Jennifer Siddons.
California Highway Patrol officers were first to respond, followed by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives. Chestnut Street was closed for about two hours while authorities investigated the death.
Sheriff’s Deputy Coroner Rob Lyons didn’t confirm a cause of death Wednesday afternoon.
“We often treat deaths that are unattended as suspicious,” Lyons said. “It’s under investigation. There’s still a lot of evidence to go through and people to interview.”