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Archive for Friday, June 5, 2009

Officers investigating unattended death in wooded area north of BNSF depot

Lawrence Police officers set up a crime scene tent where a 53-year-old man was found dead Friday near the Kansas River. The man’s body was found in the wooded area north of the BNSF Railway depot in east Lawrence. Police Sgt. Bill Cory said early indications were that the deceased man was not a Lawrence resident. There were no obvious signs of foul play, he said, adding that the body would be taken to Topeka for an autopsy. The body was found outside a tent; the area near the river has been popular in the past as a camping site for the area’s homeless. The city cleared out and demolished a homeless camp in October, shortly after two men were found dead in a tent there.

Lawrence Police officers set up a crime scene tent where a 53-year-old man was found dead Friday near the Kansas River. The man’s body was found in the wooded area north of the BNSF Railway depot in east Lawrence. Police Sgt. Bill Cory said early indications were that the deceased man was not a Lawrence resident. There were no obvious signs of foul play, he said, adding that the body would be taken to Topeka for an autopsy. The body was found outside a tent; the area near the river has been popular in the past as a camping site for the area’s homeless. The city cleared out and demolished a homeless camp in October, shortly after two men were found dead in a tent there.

June 5, 2009, 4:37 p.m. Updated June 5, 2009, 5:31 p.m.

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Body found north of the BNSF Railway depot

Lawrence police were investigating the unattended death of a 53-year-old white male in the wooded area north of the BNSF Railway depot Friday afternoon. Enlarge video

Lawrence police Friday afternoon were investigating the unattended death of a 53-year-old white male in the wooded area north of the BNSF Railway depot.

Sgt. Bill Cory said earlier indication were the deceased man was not a Lawrence resident. There were no obvious signs of foul play, he said.

Witnesses said the body was laying next to a tent. Crime scene investigators are on the scene. Cory said the body would be taken to Topeka for a complete autopsy.

The area has been popular in the past as a camping site for the area's homeless. The city cleared out and demolished the homeless camp, in October 2008, shortly after two men were found dead in their tent in the homeless camp.

The city has been wrestling with a lack of shelter for homeless for some time, exacerbated with the closure Monday of the Salvation Army overnight shelter.

More information as it develops at LJWorld.com.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, no not again, and I suppose this death will of little or no consequence to anyone as the last two were. Witnesses reported an unattended death, I do wish the paper would wait until it gets more facts before writing something like this. This is a terrible thing to have happened. Someone should have done something. The dead person wasn't in a spaceship in a void. There were in a fairly sized town. Maybe all the trees for a space along the river and by that station should be cut down and grass planted. That might prevent something.

Bob Forer 5 years, 7 months ago

It's impossible to prevent a hardcare junkie or alkie from ODing, or from sucumbing to something cumulative such as liver failure. Years and years of abuse has its consequences.

Jack Hope III 5 years, 7 months ago

Irish...

First off, trees are much better at preventing erosion, when compared to grass.

Second, that's a little like cutting off your arm to spite your foot. I'm of the opinion that they should just open up the area so the cops and medical people know where these people are at.

Unfortunately in this economy, there will be homeless people. If Lawrence can't build shelters, they should encourage centralization so these human beings don't completely fall through the cracks... or start sleeping in your back yard.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Okay, how is it that someone can see my post and reply to it before I can get back and see it? I kept getting a busy signal.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I am just grabbing at straws here. Emotion mind again. We only know where, not who or why. There has to be an answer.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I am just grabbing at straws here. Emotion mind again. We only know where, not who or why. There has to be an answer. Anyone else having problems submitting a comment?

Amy Heeter 5 years, 7 months ago

No it is not the city's fault. More shelters will not change the situation. Many homeless refuse to utilize the current shelters. There are still have two options in the community for those who wish to sleep indoors. The answer to the problem is not more shelter or cutting down trees.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

from the article, we do not know this 53-year-old male was homeless.

but it does say he's apparently not from lawrence.

if he was homeless, he would be one of the many we have been writing about on these comment threads: out-of-town homeless attracted to lawrence, concentrating crime and drug and alcohol abuse.

I say clearly, if that is true, this should be a warning to our city's homeless providers, please look for ways to limit your services to those with some kind of local tie or history!

we cannot keep attracting out-of-town homeless, and doing so makes things much worse!

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

irish, your comments are just silly, crazy.

but worse, they imply that it is okay for the homeless to just take over any plot of land they choose and then the community has to cater to them.

that catering is probably what brought this poor man to our community. and that catering may have made him comfortable in his self-destruction.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 7 months ago

Waka dude, it's not the city's fault. dude

Steve Jacob 5 years, 7 months ago

I will expect the city crews will clear out the area again next week.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

It's a free country, people can help who they want to. If you don't want to, that is your choice also. Downtown the other day I gave a dollar to a man sitting in an alcove out of the rain and I was thankful I had the dollar to give him. I was thankful I had an umbrella and a nice, dry home to go back to. I know for a fact from when I lived in the Salvation Army Shelter that a few men got checks every month and had enough to buy some fairly fancy camping equipment and liquor to pass around. I think they are like Huck Finn, always looking for the territory, and never wanting to be civilized by Aunt Polly. The growl of the Harley, the moan of the train at midnight, luring you on, what's beyond the next hill, around the next bend. I know, Bearded One, I am crazy, but I can still write dammed good. And,will.

EireishHawk 5 years, 7 months ago

mmm, I believe that would be "write damned well"

Huck Finn? That is a dammed sad comparison.

somebodynew 5 years, 7 months ago

Marion,

Just a question (and not on topic) and feel free not to answer. Did you happen to attend a funeral yesterday???

And the only reason I ask is I was there and thought you were, but was not sure.

EireishHawk 5 years, 7 months ago

or lose employment because you are drinking on the job

or lose you home because you gambled away your house payments

Little bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
and making them homeless

yessireee, bad bunnies may have caused it

somebodynew 5 years, 7 months ago

OK, my mistake. Just thought you might have known the guy, but that is OK.. Thanks for the response.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

I meant in the creative sense which is not always grammatical. It was supposed to be melancholy as we used to call the blues. When a man dies because the devil must have his dues.

Jim Phillips 5 years, 7 months ago

"Irish (Irish Swearingen) says…

It's a free country, people can help who they want to. If you don't want to, that is your choice also...."

Not really. The President and Congress are now returning the counrty's wealth back to it's "rightful owners".

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

no, Irish, that's not good writing, apart from grammar. bad grammar doesn't make it raw, deep or challenging.

you admit that some at the Sally had checks and got camping equipment, as well as liquor. the sally was a dry shelter, and was more constructive than the "open shelter."

if the best thing those fellas could do with their money was spend it on camping and equipment and hooch, you've got your reason right there why they're homeless...their own choice. and that dollar you gave might've felt good, but in this town with all what's there for the homeless you can be sure that dollar went to either: hooch; drugs; smokes; or "adult" magazines. you didn't help him, you helped him destroy himself a little more.

yes, its a free country, and I still have the freedom to criticize choices that continue the self-destruction of other people. choices that help attract out-of-town homeless to our community, concentrating crime, drug and alcohol abuse.

as to your own mental illness, Irish I've PM'ed you that I am worried about you posting so much about yourself online.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

py, note I used the word "if." the location, his not being from lawrence, all imply probably he was a homeless guy.

but maybe he was a harley guy.


cletus, being by the bnsf depot means that location is on the "trade routes" as a well-known poster has pontificated about the swine flu.


seriously, it is sad this man died this way, apparently alone and not in comfort.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

I believe that mental illness needs to be brought out into the open and talked about. It is no different than having any other kind of disease. By not demonizing it or mocking it, we might inspire someone to seek help from Bert Nash who might not otherwise do it because of fear of being ridiculed. I agree with Py. I suppose I have survivors guilt because I did manage to get out with a lot of help and some I knew then are still there. I gave the money to this man out of the goodness of my heart. After I gave it, it wasn't mind anymore so it isn't any of my business what he spent it on. I don't know the man or what his wants and needs are. Do you have the stats on how many working people spend money on alcohol? Some, some, were getting checks. Others didn't have a cent, and still others went to work every day and saved up for a place. They got out.

honestone 5 years, 7 months ago

I believe that in order for a developer to get a building permit each new area for development MUST have services for the homeless IN THAT DEVELOPED AREA. The Alvamar Free Kitchen or the 6th and Kasold Drop-In-Center. A homeless Campground at 6th and Mass. Utopia!!!

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