BARSTOW Authorities released the identity of a body that was discovered in the desert near a Lenwood hotel on Monday as that of a 38-year-old woman from Tennessee who is believed to have been the victim of foul play.


The Barstow Police Department identified the woman as Lisa Marie Talarico of Columbia, Tenn.. Talarico was a transient who has lived in California, Arizona, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio.


Barstow Police Sgt. Andy Espinoza Sr. said that after speaking with acquaintances of Talarico they believe she came to Barstow approximately 30 days ago. She frequented truck stops, hotels and other Lenwood businesses, according to a Barstow Police Department report.


Although the cause of death is unknown and the autopsy hasn't occurred, police believe Talarico's death is suspicious.


"The nature of the body itself (makes the death suspect)," Espinoza Sr. said. "The state of the body and the location of it make it appear suspicious. She was found in the desert in a way that doesn't match up with someone having a heart problem or other issue. This doesn't appear to be a typical death investigation. We suspect a homicide."


Talarico was found partially clothed in the desert at the end of Commerce Parkway near the Days Inn after a maid spotted the body from the top floor of the hotel on Monday.


Investigators are seeking more information about the case. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Barstow Police Department at (760) 256-2211 or Det. Keith Libby at (760) 255-5134. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the WE-Tip hotline at 1-800-782-7463 or visit the WeTip web site at www.wetip.com.