McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall said a bicyclist found the body, which has been sent to Springfield for an autopsy to determine her cause of death, The Joplin Globe reported. Deputies are treating the case as a homicide, according to KFSM.
Investigators believe the body is most likely a woman in her 20s or 30s, the Sheriff's Office said. Hall said it was unclear how long the woman had been there, KFSM reported.
The suitcase is being treated as evidence, Hall said.
"(The body) was found downhill from the suitcase," Hall told the Globe. "We believe she was possibly in (the suitcase) at one time."
Hall said investigators believe the woman died elsewhere and her body was disposed of down the hillside, the newspaper reported.
"I do not believe it's the murder scene, no," Hall told the Globe.