GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A sleeping bag and trash still litter the ground at the campsite where the unknown body was found along the Rogue River yesterday afternoon. The site, an area frequented by transients, is just a few hundred feet from the nearby riverfront properties.
“We were just back from the farmer’s market yesterday and we were out on the overlook deck and we noticed the public safety officers and police officers down there taking pictures,” said resident Mark Bost.
Bost says he and his family first noticed an odd smell late June. He says he suspects the body went unreported until yesterday.
But Grants Pass Police say the body is that of a 54-year old transient man. But other than that there are few clues at this point as to who it was, what happened, or when.
“Based on what the detectives were telling me he was decomposing,” said Lieutenant Jim Hamilton. “So not identifiable by any features at this point.”
They say those answers should be revealed in the medical examiner’s report, but until then they have to consider all possibilities.
“We’re treating it as we do any death investigation,” said Hamilton. “It’s suspicious until we rule that out.”
Whether suspicious or not, Bost says he does see transient activity in this area on a weekly basis. Usually it’s harmless, but not always.
“Some are camping, some are exposed to the elements – we’ve had a very hot summer thus far. Some are using drugs, which we know by what’s being left behind,” said Bost.
Police say the medical examiner’s report will likely be finished by the end of the week depending on workload from other investigations.