But investigators said they had not confirmed how Diana Gale James, 52, and Roger Del James, 53, had died, The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun reported. A relative said the couple had been beaten, the newspaper said.
The couple's bodies were found by a friend, a woman who also is homeless, Sunday in a trash enclosure next to a car wash. Police visited homeless camps in the area Monday looking for anyone who had last seen the Jameses alive.
Investigators told the Sun they believed the couple had been living in the rudimentary enclosure, which has two trash bins inside with cardboard taped to plywood for a makeshift roof.
Police said they had no leads on a suspect or possible motive.
"There may have been a fight that occurred, or something that occurred, but we won't know until the autopsy," said police Capt. Chuck Robinson, adding the couple were from Arkansas and had moved to Cathedral City five or six years ago.
"It's tragic, obviously, and from everything we've heard, they were not bad people."