October 25, 2006
Once Again: Body Discovered in Woods
For the second time this month, a dead man was discovered in the North Fork woods.
Southold Town Police Chief Carlisle Cochran reported that at approximately 4 p.m. on October 22, an individual walking in the woods at Inlet Pond County Park called the STPD to say he'd found the body of a man on the property.
STPD called the Suffolk County Parks Police, who then called in the Suffolk County Homicide Squad, a standard procedure when a dead body is found on the East End.
Detective Lieutenant Jack Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Homicide division, said after they were contacted at 6:15 p.m., the male body was found in an advanced stage of decomposition in a tent in the woods. "Right now, the identity is unknown — he's a John Doe," said Lt. Fitzpatrick.
The body was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office. "We don't believe there was foul play, but certainly we'll leave our options open," he said.
As for whether the man was homeless, Fitzpatrick said, "We don't know, but we'll find out."
Last year, an investigation by The Independent revealed a growing number of homeless individuals living in the North Fork woods. Although Inlet Pond County Park is within the boundaries of Southold Town, the land itself is county-owned.
This is the second body found in the North Fork woods this month. On October 4, the Riverhead Town Police received a call that the body of a man, later identified as Jamie Figueroa, 35, of 75 Sylvan Avenue in Flanders, had been found in a wooded area on Union Avenue.
A subsequent autopsy determined that Figueroa died from blunt force trauma.
Both investigations are ongoing.