Police in Las Vegas say they are investigating the discovery of human remains in a duffel bag in an underground utility vault.

Officer Larry Hadfield says a human hand was discovered in the black duffel bag a little after 1 p.m. Tuesday, and homicide investigators were working slowly to document the scene, which is near a large complex of extended-stay suites, before removing the decomposing remains.

A portion of southbound Nellis Boulevard was closed between Twain Avenue and Flamingo Road for the investigation. That's southeast of downtown.

There's no immediate word whether the dead person is male or female, or how long the body had been there.

Police say the duffel was found in a water district valve locker that's about 5 feet deep.

The vault cover at sidewalk level was apparently broken.