(CNN)Bags of human remains were found near the waterfront in Seattle on Friday afternoon, police report in a statement.
The Seattle Police Department responded to a call about a suspicious bag found on a beach in the West Seattle area, the statement said.
Affiliate KOMO said the initial call reported a foul odor coming from the bag.
Another bag was found in the water.
Police discovered the bags' contents and began an investigation.
"There was a police boat and an inflatable boat and they had a hook and they took black plastic bags out," Steven Buty, who lives near the beach, told KOMO. "I saw them take two bags."
According to KOMO's report, it is unknown whether the bags were put on the beach and then carried out by the tide, or if they were initially in the water and began to wash up on shore.
Harbor Patrol is assisting, and detectives will work with the King County Medical Examiner's Office as the investigation proceeds, the statement said.