MADISONVILLE, Texas — Authorities say a Texas rancher mowing his pasture discovered the decomposing remains of a young girl along with medical apparatus commonly used with a feeding tube.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says the rancher discovered the remains Saturday on his property near Madisonville, about 85 miles northwest of Houston.

The child has not been identified. Preliminary autopsy results Monday indicate the victim was female, aged 2 to 5 years, with black hair more than a foot long. Deputies are searching national databases for missing children.

Sheriff Travis Neeley says the remains were found inside a container and that it was likely dumped several months ago. He did not describe the container nor provide details about the medical apparatus found with the remains.

The death has been ruled a homicide.

VIAThe Associated Press
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.