Someone found the body near the end of North First Street at its intersection with Johnston Street just after 6 p.m. and called police.
Spring Lake police and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office spent several hours on the scene looking for clues until about 9 p.m.
At last report, investigators are not commenting on an identity or the cause of death.
Investigators suspect that the victim may be a person who has been missing for several weeks.
They hope an autopsy will confirm their suspicions, and a cause of death.