LSU students on an architecture field trip Tuesday afternoon discovered a body along the Mississippi River bank near The Bluffs, a steep embankment on the west side of Southern University's campus.

LSU architecture students Hanna Simpson and Tuan Nguyen told The Advocate they were among the students working on a site analysis of structures in the area when they discovered the body shortly before 3 p.m.

Simpson said the body was clothed and face down. They were unable to determine the race or approximate age of the person, but did say the body appeared to be heavy set. 

The students alerted their professor, who called 911. Dozens of first responders were on the scene Tuesday afternoon, standing near the river along a line of trees.

The river is down a steep hill from the campus, where students stood and watched. The body was between the river bank and a substantial line of rocks, lying in a section of water that is blocked from the main flow of the river.

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EMS was called to the scene at 3:07 p.m., but spokesman Mike Chustz said the person was already dead.

A coroner's office van arrived on the scene just before 4:30 p.m. Six people removed the body from the water and carried it up the steep bluff to the coroner's van.

SU spokeswoman Janene Tate said said Baton Rouge Police Department investigators will handle the case.

"This is an unfortunate incident," Tate said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victim. … Southern University will assist in any way possible."

Compiled from staff reports. To contact a crime reporter at The Advocate, email or call (225) 388-0369.