Death of man found in car at park declared suicide

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Mesa County sheriff’s deputies look at a car in which a man’s body was found Sunday at Long Family Memorial Park. A passerby called 911 about 9 a.m. and reported seeing a man unconscious in the vehicle, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

A man found dead Sunday in a parking lot on the south side of Long Family Memorial Park committed suicide, according to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.

A passerby called 911 about 9 a.m. to report a man appeared to be unconscious in a car near the Grand Mesa shelter, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Mary Gonzales said.

The body appeared to have a gunshot wound, Gonzales said. The name of the dead man had not been released as of Sunday afternoon.

The park was filled with visitors Sunday morning as law enforcement investigated the scene. An adult soccer match went on as scheduled at noon in the park. People trying to park their cars in or near the lot where the body was found were re-routed to the Central High School parking lot.

A party scheduled for the Grand Mesa shelter took place as planned Sunday afternoon, as did another party at a nearby shelter, complete with a blow-up water slide.

A Mesa County parks and landscapes maintenance worker, Stacy Pinnt, said she arrived at the park at 7 a.m. Sunday. She said she noticed a few cars in the lot then, but couldn’t remember whether she saw the gray car in which the body was found. A person who walked through the park the previous night told Pinnt there was only a truck in the lot at 9 p.m. Saturday.

“I’ve been here five years and we’ve never had anything like this,” Pinnt said. “Vandalism is our biggest issue here, usually.”


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