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SUSPICIOUS DEATH: Police Investigate Homicide

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Des Moines Police are investigating a suspicious death after a body was discovered in a backyard north of downtown.

Police were called to 1530 4th Street shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday for an unconscious person. When they arrived they found a black male in his late 40’s dead in the yard.

Police say while it is still early in their investigation the death appears to be suspicious so they will treat it as a homicide. “There obviously is some trauma to his body. I don't want to release where or how that trauma has been inflicted, but needless to say he's dead and its suspicious enough we are going to look at it and treat it as a homicide for the time being," Sgt. Jason Halifax said.

The identity of the man is not being released pending notification of family.

Police say the man did not live in the home, but he has some connection or knew someone in the area. Police are interviewing several witnesses.

“You just don't expect to see something like this, especially around here….they cleaned the neighborhood up, Des Moines police spent many years cleaning it up and to see something this tragic happen,” neighbor Robert Overton said.

We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.