Deputies with the New York Police Department say the body of a badly decomposed man was found floating face down in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. CBS News reports that a maintenance worker made the gruesome discovery Tuesday afternoon and alerted police.
When fire and police officials arrived at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, which was decommissioned in 1993, they fished the naked, decomposed body out of the water near East 87th Street and East Drive, which is in the proximity of the “park’s widely used jogging track.”
Police officials examined the body found in Central Park and stated that there were no obvious signs of trauma to determine how the man died. It is a possibility that the man died from drowning, says NYPD, but they cannot be for certain until the local medical examiner’s office conducts an autopsy and makes a ruling on a cause of death.
It is unknown how long the body had been in the Central Park Reservoir, but officers with New York Police Department have determined that the body had been in the water for an extended period of time due to the stage of decomposition. Police also question why the body surfaced at this time after being in the water for a long time.
NYPD will soon rummage through the missing person databases in an effort to determine the identity of the body found in Central Park.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is “half-mile long and up to 40 feet deep” and is “surrounded by a running track and a 4-foot-high ornamental fence.” Its entrance at 90th Street and Fifth Avenue was closed off to the public while police conducted an investigation into how the man found in Central Park ended up in the water.
Despite the tragedy that unfolded, tourists were said to have continued snapping pictures and taking selfies adjacent to where the body was found in Central Park.
A jogger in the area stated that they recalled seeing something floating in the Central Park Reservoir, but had no idea it was a body floating in the water. It looked “like a potato sack floating. Couldn’t tell if it was a human, it looked like litter to me.”
Park-goers were shocked. They stated that the body found in Central Park is only a reminder of “Manhattan’s crime-plagued bad old days.”
A stay-at-home father, Patrick Cox, 40, in the Upper West Side said, “I’m shocked it happened in this part of town. I never see anything remotely dangerous or anything like that. Wow, I’m completely baffled.”
Another park-goer, Gloria Wong, 36, added that she runs at Central Park “three to four times a week and feel safe. Then again, who knows what goes on here at night.”
David Einstein, 29, lives in Harlem, and he called the incident “unusual” as there are “not too many points of entry, are there?” He added that he wasn’t at all surprised by the body found in Central Park as there are “a lot of people that people don’t care about.”
Locals congregated at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir entrance, trying to come to terms with what happened. Some were even trying to uncover how someone could have abandoned the body in Central Park without anyone noticing.
“There’s no place to wash in from,” said a 66-year-old man, who is only being identified as S. Daley. “They were either killed, and tossed in, or someone killed themselves. I would say someone was dumped.”
No arrests have been made in connection to the body found in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, but an investigation is ongoing.