SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

Spokane County Major Crimes detectives are investigating the discovery of a dead body near the climbing rocks off Upriver Drive.

On Wednesday afternoon, a group of hikers found the body of a man around 5 p.m. in a wooded area at John Shields Park.

Deputy Craig Chamberlin with the Sheriff's department said they are treating the death as a homicide, which is standard protocol, until the evidence proves otherwise.

Chamberlin said the heavily wooded area made it more challenging to collect evidence.

"Trying to document any possible crime scene like this in an extremely wooded area, you have to be very methodical and very careful to not disturb any evidence that might be there because you might not be able to see it," said Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

Chamberlin said the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy in the next couple days to determine a cause.