ASBURY PARK - Authorities say the decomposing body of a pit bull was found this week in suitcase floating in a Monmouth County lake.

A necropsy determined the medium-sized dog was about a year old. But it's not clear what caused the animal's death or how it ended up in the suitcase.

The Monmouth County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the suitcase was found Monday night in Sunset Lake in Asbury Park. It was found by people leaving a Fourth of July fireworks show in the Jersey shore town.

A button that reads "I (heart) Howard University" and a choke chain were also found in the suitcase.

SPCA officials noted that many dog owners seek to honor their pet by burying it at sea, even though that's against the law.

Anyone who might have any information about the dog is urged to contact the Monmouth County SPCA or county prosecutor's office.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.