The group was hiking the Mountain Springs Trailhead near State Route 160 somewhere between Las Vegas and Pahrump when they found the body around 7:30 a.m., Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Spencer told reporters.
The child is believed to be between 8 and 12 years of age, he said.
“He is clearly the victim of a homicide,” Spencer said.
Investigators are trying to identify him. They believe the body was placed in the area within the past 24 hours, Spencer said.
He declined to speculate on how the boy died.
He urged anyone in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas – including Southern California – to reach out to authorities if they have a child and grandchild that has gone missing.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.