UPDATE: Infant found dead in north Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Police have identified a body found in north Columbia Thursday as an infant less than one year old.

"As a parent myself this is very difficult," Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter said. "It's a difficult situation for everyone involved, including the investigating officers and detectives and our community as a whole."

Steven Sapp, City of Columbia spokesperson, said the Columbia Police Department needs the public's assistance in identifying the infant. If anyone has information regarding a missing infant, he said they should call the police department or CrimeStoppers.

Police said they do not have information about the infant's gender at this time and cause of death has not been identified.

"Our investigation will be the voice of this baby," Hunter said. "And we need your help, we need the community's help, and everyone in Columbia's help."

At approximately 11:40 a.m. Thursday Columbia police responded to McKnight Tire on 1909 N. Providence Road, Columbia police spokesman Jeff Pitts said. 

McKnight Tire and the other businesses in the surrounding strip mall remain open for business.

Officers and detectives were on the scene conducting a death investigation.