At first, the grisly find looked like a killer’s work. It turned out to be ... something else.

Someone dumped her, and Pierce County sheriff’s deputies don’t know who.

At first, they suspected a homicide. The details were gruesome.

On Dec. 3, a dispatch call reported the discovery of a corpse stuffed in a plastic bin, possibly female, possibly dismembered, covered in mud and garbage.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the location: a woodsy homeless encampment near Canyon Road East and Military Road East in Frederickson.

The residents were alarmed, according to sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer. Someone had found the dirt-filled bin, looked inside and spotted a hand.

“It looked like it had real fingernail polish on it,” Troyer said. “You couldn’t see the face.”

The grim find triggered a familiar routine: Deputies cordoned off the scene, preparing for a forensics team, ensuring nothing was disturbed. The call came in at 6:30 p.m., and the light was already gone. The initial decision: Wait for daylight.

By morning, investigators were ready to close in, but the scene near the encampment was cluttered, and haste was risky. Investigators considered seeking fingerprints from the hand before pulling the rest of the evidence out of the dirt.

It didn’t work out that way. Deputies approached the bin and removed the lid.

The hand moved ... in an odd way.

“The fingers wobbled a little bit too much,” Troyer said.

A closer look revealed the truth: hair that had once been blond, a body that was anatomically correct, with exaggerated attributes.

The corpse wasn’t a corpse. It was a forsaken sex doll.

“It wasn’t inflatable,” Troyer said. “It was built to be lifelike, rubber, synthetic or whatever the material is. Obviously, everybody looked around at each other. The good news is, it wasn’t a homicide but we treated it like it was one.”

Relief followed. Investigators couldn’t help smiling. Troyer called the case a “latexicide.”

Who was responsible? Deputies found no obvious evidence of ownership, or who might have dumped the bin, not that they cared.

“We have no idea,” Troyer said. “We’re not working that. As soon as we found out it was not a human we were done with it.

“And nobody’s come forward to claim their property.”