Although they are not confirming it as a homicide investigation, police are gathering evidence in what they are calling a "suspicious death" after a woman's body was found Wednesday morning near a park in Ottawa's west end.

"There are no details in regards to the circumstances or the scene available other than what has already been provided. That she is a woman and that our Major Crime Office is investigating," said Const. J.P. Vincelette of the Ottawa Police.

Police say a pedestrian was walking her dog on a bike path near Britannia Road and Howe Street just after 6 a.m. when she noticed the lifeless body.

With the body so close to the pathway, police say they do not believe it has been there very long.

Police won't confirm reports that the woman was partially naked, if the attack was random or the age of the victim.

Resident Vladmir Solovyev told CTV Ottawa that he heard a man's voice shouting in the area after midnight.

The neighbourhood is diverse, with seniors' residents, condominiums and affluent homes along the water, a halfway house nearby and subsidized City of Ottawa housing units down the street.

"There's always stuff happening at the two little stores down the street there. There's always cops there. Stuff is always happening down by the building over there. The police are always there investigating. It has really gone downhill," said resident Jennifer Hulshos.

"This is not the first time that something like this has happened. Two years ago a woman was attacked and left by a rock further down by the beach. It has happened before."

In that case, a woman was found barely alive after her estranged boyfriend slit her throat and left her for dead in Britannia Park in 2006.

Earlier last month, a woman was found beaten and naked in Carlington Park, in another section of Ottawa's west end. But police won't say if the two are related.

And although police were still not calling it a homicide investigation, they did say that the public should take extra caution in the Britannia Park area.

Police said they would shortly begin a grid search and the area will remained cordoned off. The autopsy will be conducted in Toronto later this week.

With a report form CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem