Body in park was male, ID may take several days

2014-05-22T19:45:00Z 2014-06-09T14:56:04Z Body in park was male, ID may take several daysGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
May 22, 2014 7:45 pm  • 

An autopsy completed Thursday determined that the body discovered Wednesday night in Coulson Park was that of an adult male, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said.

Linder said the body hasn’t been positively identified yet. He said that identification might have to wait until Monday, after more interviews have been conducted.

Since the body was discovered Wednesday night, a number of people have contacted the sheriff’s office with possible leads.

Linder said detectives have completed some interviews, but there are still more people to talk to.

After investigating the scene Thursday morning, where detectives “spent time investigating and excavating the site in the immediate area of where the body was found,” the park was reopened around

10:30 a.m.

The body was at an advanced stage of decomposition when it was found, leading investigators to conclude that it had been there for “probably months.”

The body was at such an advanced stage that the gender wasn’t immediately apparent.

“It appears that the body has been there for quite some time,” Linder said.

The body had scraps of clothing and other items that could help in the identification process.

The body was discovered at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when two men walking in Coulson spotted it in the underbrush.

“They were actually looking for rocks,” Linder said. “And they saw what appeared to be some clothing or a portion of the body in some foliage there.”

The park was closed Wednesday night, the scene was covered to preserve evidence and sheriff’s officers were stationed at the scene overnight.

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