Three people were found dead Tuesday after a car crashed and broke into pieces in Baltimore County near an Interstate 83 interchange. Apparently nobody saw the crash, and Maryland state police said they did not know when or why it occurred.

A caller told police about 4 p.m. that he had spotted a car off the road in the Timonium area near a ramp between southbound I-83 and the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway.

Police said they went to the site and found the three victims and a car that had broken into several pieces. No names were given.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the car had been on the ramp when it ran off the road and into a heavily wooded area nearby, where it struck a large tree. The site was difficult to see from the road, police said.

Police said they were trying to learn the cause. Damage to was too severe to find whether seat belts were worn, they said.