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Body found near Lake Fort Phantom

Staff Writer

The decomposing body of an unidentified man was found in a wooded area near Lake Fort Phantom Thursday, but the death has not been declared a homicide.

The man's body has been sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, said Sgt. David Gage with the Abilene Police Department.
No obvious signs of foul play were found, Gage said, although the corpse was in a state of decomposition.

The body was located by a man walking his dog. The animal reportedly caught a scent and then led its owner to the body's location.

"He was apparently there a while, but we don't know at this point exactly how long," Gage said.
The recent combination of rain and heat contributed to the man's decomposed state, he said.

The body was found just off Comanche Trail and east of West Lake Road near the lake area.
Jones County Judge Brad Rowland pronounced death at 1:25 p.m.

The victim is a true "John Doe," Gage said.

No identification was found on or near his body.

The man is described as standing at least 5-foot-9 and was of medium build. He was either white or Hispanic and was found wearing a multi-colored, hooded shirt and blue jeans.

Gage said fingerprints will be taken during the course of the autopsy and will be compared with those the police department has on record locally as well as with those in other databases.
Police will also examine their records to see if the man matches a description of any missing persons reported to the department.

"Anyone who may have information about who this man is should contact the police department," Gage said. "One of our first goals is identifying him, and we'd appreciate any information" a reader would have to give.

To provide information about the case, contact the Abilene Police Department at 673-8331 or Crime Stoppers at 676-TIPS.

All content copyright 1996, Brian Bethle, The Abilene Reporter-News and Reporter OnLine


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