Body found in yard

Identity not released; no foul play suspected

Lawrence Police are investigating the death of an unidentified man after a west Lawrence property owner found his body Thursday evening in the backyard of a duplex.

Landlord Don Theno said he was mowing the yard at 1108 Randall Road, one of several duplexes he owns, about 5:30 when he found the body. Theno said he opened the gate to one of the duplex patios and saw a man in his mid-20s face down underneath a tree near the patio.

“I didn’t look in there too long,” Theno said. “Once I opened the gate and saw it and smelled it I knew what was going on.”

Lawrence Police Sgt. Mike Pattrick, head of the police detective division, released a statement late Thursday night saying that the cause of death had not been determined, but that the investigation had yielded no signs of foul play. An autopsy on the body will be performed today, he said.

Police arrived on the scene at 5:53 p.m. and blocked off the area with yellow tape. Later, they draped a green tarp over the patio fence to obstruct the view of the body through the wooden slats as several neighbors looked on.

Theno said the side of the duplex where he found the body has been occupied by the same family for about four years. The other side of the duplex was recently vacated. Theno said neither he nor the duplex residents knew the deceased. Theno paid for the family to stay in a hotel while police investigated.