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HESTER — The body of a Black woman who was possibly in her early 30s was found Thursday along the Mississippi River shoreline in St. James Parish, the sheriff said.

Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. said the woman's body was found by youths who had gone over the levee Thursday to the batture property along the Mississippi near the Belmont fire station along River Road in Hester.

The Hester area is downriver of Convent and upriver of Paulina on the east bank of the Mississippi.

Sometimes the sliver of batture land between the levee and river can be dry, but river levels are elevated and up against the levee, the sheriff said. The woman's body was found in water over the batture land.

Martin said the woman doesn't appear to have been in the water longer than a day and a half or so, though he noted the river water is cold.

The woman was pulled from the water sometime before 7 p.m. Thursday.

He said deputies were still working to identify the woman and her hometown.

Martin declined to comment about what may have led to the woman being the water.

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