Body of man found in east Gainesville

Officers with the Gainesville Police Forensic Crime Unit and personnel with the District 8 Medical Examiner's office work the scene of a death investigation located in the woods near the 3000 block of East University Avenue on Friday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, December 6, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 6, 2013 at 6:53 p.m.

The body of a man was found in a homeless encampment off East University Avenue on Friday afternoon, and police consider the death suspicious.

Gainesville Police officer Ben Tobias said the body was discovered by another person in the area and the person appeared to have been dead for several days.

"We think it's been about a week. There is not a lot that is obvious about it," Tobias said. "Estimating an age is very difficult."

Tobias added that the case will be treated as suspicious until proven otherwise because of the location of the body in the woods.

The body was found around 3000 E. University Ave. just east of Fred Cone Park, but more than 100 yards off the road. A ditched creek that is cleared of vegetation winds through the area, which appears to be a utility easement.

Police said a small number of homeless people sometimes camp there, and an officer familiar with the area said no problems have been reported among the campers.

Staff from the state Medical Examiner's Office and the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida were at the scene to assist.

Due to the advanced decomposition of the body, GPD will be holding the scene secure overnight and will recover the remains in the morning when more light is available, Tobias said.

GPD said it got the call about the body at 1:28 p.m. A homeless man called the report in.

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