Boston police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found this morning on a park bench in the Fenway neighborhood.
The man may have been homeless, police said.
The body was discovered around 7:22 a.m. next to the Mother’s Rest playground in the Back Bay Fens. The spot is near the Boston Fire Department’s building at 59 The Fenway.
Homicide detectives cordoned off a crime scene where the body was discovered. Joggers, cyclists, and strollers stopped and stared this morning.
Investigators went door-to-door across the street, where there is a mix of Boston Conservatory dorms and offices, as well as Berklee College of Music classrooms. Police asked Boston Conservatory staff for surveillance video captured by their cameras at 40 The Fenway between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m., said Chris Hayden, director of facilities.
The maze of crime scene tape around the covered body caught the attention of John O’Neil, who was walking his dog, Miller. A Fenway resident for 12 years, O’Neil said that part of the Fens is a popular gathering spot for the homeless population during the warmer months.
“This is the time of year that they generally move on, but certainly all summer long, this is a campout,” O’Neil said. “So if it were somebody who’s homeless, I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody would die here. It is still very, very disturbing. But I guess it is not surprising.”
He added he feels safe in the area, and that it would surprise him if the person’s death was caused by violence.
“It’s not an area known for great amounts of violence,” O’Neil said. “It’s still a popular cruising place, so occasionally and rarely there will be something on that side. But I will say it is certainly the exception not the norm.”
Berklee junior Christian Lyman said he is comfortable walking through the area to class daily, but added that neighborhood residents know not to go too deep into the marshy spot at night.
“The area is nice. I wouldn’t live in it if I didn’t feel it was safe,” he said. “But anything can happen, I guess. It’s unfortunate.”