A man was found dead in a Central Park playground on Monday morning, prompting a massive investigation, police reported.
According to NYPD Assistant Chief Ruel Stephenson, a Central Park Conservancy worker discovered a 36-year-old man dead inside of Heckscher Playground at around 8:35 a.m. on Dec 11.
“Our detectives are currently conducting a thorough investigation, seeking possible witnesses and doing video canvass. As we continue to investigate this case,” Chief Stephenson said.
While police initially believed the man, whose identity is being withheld pending family notification, was thought to have had a shoelace wrapped around his neck, however, it turned out to be string from his hooded sweatshirt and is not believed to be related to his death.
Chief Stephenson did reveal that the man had a series of what he described as superficial laceration wounds to his neck and body. Police confirmed that a bloody knife was also found in his pocket. Still, despite the shocking discovery, cops are telling the public not to panic.
“We have not made a full determination as to the cause of death,” Chief Stephenson said. “However, our preliminary theory and investigation indicates that his injuries could have been self-inflicted.”
While the investigation is leaning to a possible suicide, police say the medical examiner will make the final determination.
If you or someone you love is suicidal, call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988 immediately.
This story was updated at 3:35 p.m.