Blood stain spotted before body was discovered at intervale
Burlington, Vermont - July 21, 2011
Police confirmed Wednesday night they have identified the body found under the bridge in Burlington's intervale Tuesday night, but they will not release his name until they have notified his next of kin.
On Wednesday night, Kevin Donaldson, a Winooski resident who frequents the site regularly, said he saw something out of the ordinary Tuesday morning.
"I came through yesterday and saw a pile of blood and I feel bad now, I was kind of naïve," Donaldson said. "It was a big pile of blood on the ground. You could not miss it."
Donaldson says he saw the blood just after 8 a.m. and again on his way home around 4 p.m., but he did not notice anything suspicious or call the police.
"I went over to the side and looked down and I went to the edge of the bridge where you can lean a little bit and look. I did both of that and I did not see a body or anything," Donaldson said.
Police were called to the scene shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday night, after a passerby reported seeing a body.
"The body was found approximately 40 to 50 feet below the level of the blue bridge. The crossing between Burlington and Winooski," said Burlington Police Lt. Jennifer Morrison.
Donaldson wishes he could have done more.
"I legitimately feel bad because had the guy been alive at that point I could have possibly saved his life," he said.
Police say the dead man was white, in his late 40s to early 50s with a light-colored mustache.
Investigators say at this point the death is suspicious.
Police say the area is popular with homeless people, but they have no details about the dead man. However, they do not believe his death was an accident.
"It is impossible to say at this point because we do not know the circumstances that befell the victim. But we can say with confidence we do not believe this was the result of a slip and fall," said Lt. Morrison.
For now Donaldson says he will be avoiding the tracks after dark, "I was never really worried about that but seeing something like this it changes your view. You never know what could happen."
Police have not released any information about the time of death, or the cause of death at this point. Investigators plan to update the media at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.