Police Identify Body Found Near Des Moines Garden

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DES MOINES, Iowa --  Sam Riccelli made a disturbing discovery while tending to his family’s garden on the city’s southeast side this morning.  His family grows vegetables for the farmer’s market in a field the 400 block of E. Kenyon Ave.

“I happened to catch something in the corner of my eye in the trees there and walked over and it was a guy and I hollered at him twice,” Riccelli said.

The man lying face down in a clump of trees didn’t answer. Riccelli says it didn’t look like he was breathing so he ran across the street and called 911 around 9:30 a.m.

Des Moines Police Department Officers confirmed that the man was dead. Police have identified the man as 32-year-old Jesse Parish of Des Moines.

“It's suspicious in terms of location of the body and how it's positioned, but to say the cause of death is suspicious, we don't really know that at this point,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax.

An autopsy will determine how he died, but investigators did not find any signs of foul play. Police believe the man was in the wooded area for several days based on the condition of his body and how he was dressed.

“Yeah, it's a bad way to start the morning,” Riccelli said.

An investigation into the death is ongoing.