This morning, at approximately 10:40 am, the Raleigh Police Department notified the Wake County Sheriff's Office about possible human remains near a walking trail along the Neuse River shoreline.
Investigators remained on the scene well into the afternoon searching for evidence.
The body has been handed over to the state medical examiner in order to determine identification and cause and manner of death.
"It's not every day, it's not every morning that you find what could be a person's body in a suitcase, in a river," Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker was quoted by WWAYTV as saying Monday afternoon.
Family of a "noticeably pregnant" 28-year-old Brittany Smith who was reported missing over the weekend came to the scene in hopes of finding some information, but Baker did not say whether the cases were related.
"We've got a lot of folks who are very concerned about the whereabouts of this young lady," he stated, referencing the missing pregnant woman. "She's a daughter, she's a sister, she's a family member to a lot of people who have been working very hard trying to find her."
Confirming that the remains found belonged to a female, he could not confirm identity due to the early stages of the investigation.
When asked during a media briefing if the body had been identified yet, he answered saying, "We're getting ready to confirm it. I can't sit here and tell you that's what's in there right now. We have not gotten to that point. We have information to believe it."
"If this is, in fact, that young lady we've been looking for all weekend long, someone is responsible for that."
"We're going to find out who's responsible, I can tell you that because these things just don't happen. Someone is responsible," Baker stated.