Saint Louis- This morning a man was found hanging from a tree in Saint Louis. Witnesses gathered shortly after the police arrived to remove the body of what police describe as a 53 year old homeless man. Several witnesses stated that the crime scene was not processed and evidence that could be related to the case was not collected. One eye witness to the scene took several pictures of items that where not collected by the Saint Louis County Police Department when the body was removed from the scene.
While the police have ruled this a suicide, the community members have growing concerns that this case was not handled properly and are asking questions. One community member asked ASN, “how did the man manage to get himself that high in the tree? Who covered the body with what appeared to be a black plastic bag while it was still hanging? Why was the crime scene not taped off?” Perhaps the most concerning question in the community was how was the death of this man ruled a suicide so quickly without an autopsy?
The body was filmed by a member of the community hanging from the tree covered in what another witness to the investigation described as a black trash bag. About three or four feet from the tree, that held fresh scars from climbing, lay items scattered in a drop off. Among these where a pizza box with food still inside, a blade from a broken knife, a strip of cloth that appeared to have been used to bind or tie something, and a bag from Quik-Trip that did not appear to be older than 24 hours. Also in the drop off, against the retaining wall, was a wooden pallet, a blanket, and pillow. The pallet appeared to have a freshly broken piece of wood according to several witnesses that spoke with ASN.
The members of the community that spoke with ASN also provided the following photos and one girl stated that she was concerned that the police had not collected all of the evidence and called the STL County Police department to ask why this was not done when they retrieved the victim’s body. The caller stated to ASN that the police told her that they had not seen the evidence and would be sending officers back out to the scene to collect it. ASN has reached out to the Police department to confirm this but has not received a response yet.
The community has expressed concerns over whether any evidence collected after the police left the initial investigation would be admissible in court, should foul play be determined in this death.
ASN will keep you updated as this story develops.