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Dead man discovered in Ford Explorer

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- The discovery of a decomposing body in the back of a red Ford Explorer turned a routine patrol into a homicide report at 3:40 p.m. Thursday, police officials said.

"I saw the vehicle close to the wood line and I went to investigate," said Ben Roberts, a Department of Natural Resources ranger first class. "I saw the body in the back and radioed to the Albany police."

The body was found in the Explorer, which had Florida tag, across a drainage ditch on a dirt road near the woods north from the intersection of Clark Avenue and Broadway Street. Shackleford Park abuts the area.

The body was male, but its condition had deteriorated so that its race could not be identified, said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman. She could not give a cause of death this early in the investigation, she added.

"We have reasons to suspect foul play," Banks said.

The victim's name was not immediately available. Neighbors in the area said they didn't know how long the Explorer had been parked near the woods.

patrols in this neighborhood," said Lisa Laster, a neighbor. "If it was patrolled more, they would have found it. It has been out there all day. What if some children found it?"