HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Investigators on Saturday removed the body of a young woman found in a crawl space at an apartment building where a missing Marshall University student lived, authorities said.

Officials have not identified the body but believe it is that of Leah Hickman, 21, a journalism student who has been missing since Dec. 14. The body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Charleston for an autopsy.

"Although we strongly believe the body is that of Leah Hickman, a positive identification will be made by the medical examiner," Lt. Rocky Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson described the death as an apparent homicide, The Herald-Dispatch reported.