A partially decomposed body was found Thursday night near the Joe Rodota Trail in southwest Santa Rosa, police said.
The dead man, whose name has not been released, was discovered in a tall grassy area about 30 feet north of the trail near Wright Road, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jonathan Wolf said. A homeless woman reported the body about 8 p.m., Wolf said.
Police aren’t certain whether the dead man was homeless. There were no signs of foul play, Wolf said.
A nearby section of the trail in Roseland was previously the site of a large homeless encampment recently cleared by city police officers and Sonoma County park rangers. The body was found a couple of miles west, and officers see “no apparent connection,” Wolf said.
“We suspect it’s a certain person who was never associated with the camp in any way,” he said. “But we don’t know for sure.”
Santa Rosa attorney Alicia Roman said a small group of homeless people who relocated to the area after the Roseland camp was closed found the body. They were camping on the south side of the trail and using the north side as a restroom, where they noticed a foul smell and eventually found the body, she said.
Roman learned of the incident Thursday night when she went to visit a homeless client who was camping there. The body’s discovery prompted concern and fear from the group, Roman said.
“They were all freaked out and huddled in the corner,” Roman said. “They all seemed really, really distraught.”
You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @thejdmorris.