Police are investigating as a homicide the discovery of body parts Thursday near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

A passerby called 911 to report the discovery shortly before 9:30 a.m. in the 300 block of NE. Main Street, not far from the river, said police spokesman John Elder. Later, police recovered more remains nearby at University Avenue and NE. 3rd Street.

Police presume the body parts are from the same person but do not make up a full body. "We are treating this as a homicide, as the loss of these parts would likely not be survivable," Elder said. "We have no reason to believe that there's more than one victim here."

He said the appearance of the body parts, likely from a white man, indicates that the death was "relatively recent."

Officers responded after a person reported finding a "human leg covered in plastic" behind the Ukrainian Event Center, according to emergency dispatch audio.

Investigators were reviewing missing persons reports, and working with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in hopes of identifying the victim, Elder said.

"It feels very much like East Coast mob stuff," said Susan Jacobson, who lives behind the event center.

The case is the city's 43rd homicide of the year. Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

paul.walsh@startribune.com • 612-673-4482 reid.forgrave@startribune.com • 612-673-4647