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A mother hunting for her homeless son living in the woods along the banks of the White River near the IUPUI campus instead discovered the body of a nearly nude man Sunday morning.

“She saw the body and immediately thought it was her son and called me up,” said David Potter, a friend of the homeless man’s mother. “I got down to where I could see the person laying there and I knew it wasn’t him.”

On an access path wide enough for a vehicle to pass, running parallel to the 1100 block of North White River Parkway West Drive, the body of the man was visible in the brush along the roadway.

The witness told Fox59 News he heard a moan about 12:30 a.m. Sunday and the body may have been bound.

“He heard screaming and two cars, one was there at the beginning,” said Potter. “One looked to be a black sedan, had some sort of performance exhaust on it, and another vehicle pulled in and he was trying to stay as quiet as possible. He heard a female voice.

“There seemed to be a struggle that whatever happened, only the Lord knows and the people that did it and the person that’s laying there deceased, seemed to be like they were either disposing of the person or there was something that happened just got out of hand.”

The witness said he couldn’t tell if the woman was also being attacked.

The driving rain complicated the efforts of detectives to examine the crime scene and the heavily wooded area along the banks of the White River near IUPUI and across the street from the main entrance to Candlewood Suites and River West Flats.

“Obviously there’s property right here,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley. “Maybe there’s witnesses or video.”

The friend of the homeless man’s mother said if not for the darkness and the silence, the witness may very well also be dead.

“I told him, ’You don’t know how lucky you are that they didn’t spot you down there, you need to think about this, what you’re doing out here isn’t safe.’”