Deputies ID woman's body found by school children

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

The body of Christian Elizabeth Walsh, of Cocoa, was found in a canal along with her bicycle Tuesday morning.

Investigators with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Walsh, 46, was reported missing by her father on Monday.

Deputies closed off Canaveral Groves Boulevard as a team of crime scene technicians started documenting the area around the canal.

Just after 9 a.m., a middle-school student, walking by the ditch on the way to the bus stop, noticed a rancid smell, saw the body and called to his friends.

Seventh-grader Sebastian McGee ran over.

"First off, we thought it was a mannequin-like Halloween thing, but then we hit it and the belly wiggled so we knew it was real," said McGee.

McGee said the body was partially submerged with a bicycle nearby. He said he thought it was a man.

"His arms were way above the water, like this in bicycle position, but his hands were like this and his fingernails were all black," said McGee.

Investigators identified the body as Walsh's late Tuesday afternoon.

Wash lived half-a-mile away.

Investigators said they believe she may have only been in the canal a day or two.

A family living just feet from where the body was discovered, said they never noticed anything until the smell Tuesday.

"I've been hitting the mailbox and taking the trash out and never noticed, apparently, the individual had been there quite a few days," said a resident.

Deputies said they don't suspect foul play and that the bike didn't appear to be hit by a car.

They are awaiting autopsy reports to reveal the cause of death.