Wichita police think the body of a man found Wednesday morning near K-96 and Hillside was placed there, Lt. Doug Nolte said.
An autopsy was being performed to determine the cause of death.
“There’s not a clear cause of death,” Nolte said. “At this point, we don’t have enough to say it’s a homicide. We’re treating it as a suspicious death. We think the body was placed there.”
Police spent much of the day at the scene after the man was found dead about a half-mile west of Hillside on 29th Street North, near the Kansas Humane Society, shortly before 9 a.m. Workers on their way to the Heartland Preparedness Center construction site discovered the body, which was lying on top of grass and brush about 10 to 15 feet south of 29th in a non-residential area.
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The death is “suspicious in nature because the body was in a wooded area,” Capt. Rusty Leeds said at the scene. His only description of the body was that it was a fully clothed white man.
A Union Pacific Railroad track runs parallel to the road on the north side, but Leeds said the death does not appear to be railroad-related.
Mark Davis, a spokesman for the Union Pacific, also said he wasn’t aware of any connection between the death and the railroad.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it hadn’t been determined how long the body had been there. The overnight low temperature was 15 degrees.
The body remained where it was found until it was removed in the afternoon.
“We’ll be very slow and methodical as we clear brush away to make sure we don’t disturb anything if this turns out to be a crime situation,” Leeds said.
He added there was nothing to indicate whether the man was homeless.
The Union Rescue Mission, at 2800 N. Hillside, is just south of where the body was found. Chris Lingenfelter, a shelter supervisor, said he didn’t know if the man had any connection to the mission and that he hadn’t been contacted by police.