UPDATED: Man's Body Found Near Mechanicsburg
Updated October 30 at 6:02 p.m.
Police are investigating the murder of a man whose body was found in the woods near Mechanicsburg late last night. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning. There is still very little information available at this time.
Neighbors in the area are shocked, and still looking for answers.
Here's what we know so far. On Monday evening before 6 p.m., two men saw what they believed may be a body lying in the woods off Griffith Creek Road. Police confirmed their suspicions, and believe foul play is definitely involved.
"I thought it might have been a prank or something, just because it's Halloween," Mechanicsburg resident Ben Tarr said. "So I didn't really believe it at first until we got there."
Tarr was with the people who found a body in the woods just off Griffith Creek Road near Mechanicsburg. The Sangamon County Sheriff's office and Buffalo-Mechanicsburg police are still investigating what happened.
"We do suspect foul play, and we don't really have a timeline," Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson said. "Like I say, the body was found around six o'clock Monday night, but we're just working backwards from there, to see if anyone saw anything, heard anything."
This type of situation isn't comforting to the people who live in this area.
"Yeah, definitely, it's kind of freaky to see something like that happen to us," Tarr said. "I mean, everybody pretty much knows everybody down there, so it's a little difficult to hear something like that."
But the area itself may have played a role in why the body was there.
"Well, this is a very quiet area," Williamson said. "We're in the east part of the county, but it's almost an ideal place to dump a body, because it's very rural, the road is lightly traveled, and it's wooded."
Residents here will probably be much more suspicious for a while.
"It definitely opens your eyes to new vehicles on the road, or someone you don't know," Tarr said. "It makes you ask questions."
We spoke with Buffalo-Mechanicsburg Police Chief Bill Hill to find out the date of the last murder in his department's jurisdiction. He said there hasn't been one in the eight years that he's been here, and he doesn't know of any before that.
Williamson asks anyone with information on this crime or who has seen any strange vehicles in the area recently to contact his office at 217-753-6666.
Updated October 30, 5:00 p.m.
A shocking discovery late last night: the body of a black man was found near Mechanicsburg in eastern Sangamon County. The case has now officially become a murder investigation.
The body was found by two men last night. Sheriff's deputies and Buffalo-Mechanicsburg Police have been combing the area since then, looking for clues to how the dead man ended up there.
Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson told us the area could have been an ideal location for crime since there's not much traffic on the road, but he also hopes that could help their investigation.
"Most of the people that live in rural areas, they know their neighbors, and they know the cars that are supposed to come down here," Williamson said. "So if there was anything at all suspicious, and they might not think it was worth anything, it could be the clue that we're looking for. So give us a call if they see, remember something that was out of the ordinary."
The coroner's office removed the body in the early hours this morning, and an autopsy has been scheduled for tomorrow.
Until then, the sheriff's office asks anyone with any information to contact them at 217-753-6666.
Updated October 30, 12:00 p.m.
Sangamon County sheriff's deputies are trying to figure out what happened to a man found near a creek near the Mechanicsburg Blacktop and North Griffith Creek Road.
Deputies said the unidentified man was discovered alone at about 9:00 last night. We're told no vehicles were nearby.
Right now, authorities do suspect foul play, and a death investigation is underway.
Updated October 29, 10:00 p.m.
Authorities suspect foul play is involved after the discovery of a body by a creek in rural Sangamon County Monday night.
Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson said the body of an unidentified man was found around 9:00 PM near the Mechanicsburg Blacktop and North Griffiths Creek Road.
Williamson says the body of was discovered alone. No vehicles were nearby.
Investigators with the sheriff's office, as well as the Sangamon County Coroner, are assisting Buffalo-Mechanicsburg Police.