ESTACADA, Ore. (KOIN) — The bodies of a man and woman were found in the Mount Hood National Forest near Estacada in what the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office described as “suspicious deaths.”

The area where they were found around 9:45 a.m. Monday is a gravel pit where people go to shoot guns, said Sgt. Marcus Mendoza.

“Our deputies were called. Some people had found these 2 deceased people out in the shooting area,” Mendoza told KOIN 6 News. “They called 911. Our deputies responded to the location and began their investigation.”

The deputies and the US Forest Service law enforcement also found a dog, alive and unhurt, near the bodies. The dog was safely distracted and taken into protective custody, he said.

“It is remote,” he said. “It is a popular area where people shoot in the outdoors.”

The Mount Hood National Forest in Estacada, August 13, 2019 (KOIN)

Crime scene technicians are still in the area looking for evidence. Mendoza said.

“We’re definitely calling it a crime scene, treating it like a crime scene until we know otherwise. Our investigators believe this was suspicious and so we’re treating it like it was a crime scene.”

It’s early in the case and investigators are still looking for tips and information. They’re being careful about releasing preliminary information. Mendoza said they believe they have identified one of the 2 people. Autopsies are being handled through the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office.

The people who found the bodies “went to that location to shoot, saw what they thought was suspicious and they called us,” Mendoza said. “They did the right thing.”

That’s the advice he had for others who may do recreational activities in the area. “Enjoy Clackamas County. Just be aware of your surroundings. Call us if you see anything suspicious.”

A view of the Mount Hood National Forest from a road near Estacada, August 13, 2019 (KOIN)