The death of a man found hanged in the woods adjacent to Peter A. Nelson Park was preliminarily classified as suicide, Suffolk County police said Monday.
Though the case is under investigation and an autopsy is planned, police said the rumors that spread throughout the day on social media led them to address the matter, even though under normal circumstances, they don’t comment on non-criminal deaths. The man, who was described as black and in his 50s, left a note at his home for his family, explaining his actions, police said. The department’s statement included the following:
The family has requested that their identity, as well as the identity of the decedent, be withheld to protect their privacy.
As a matter of policy, the Suffolk County Police Department does not normally comment on non-criminal death investigations. The department investigates approximately 100 suicides annually. However, we are aware of unfortunate rumors circulating on social media and throughout the community regarding this investigation, and believe that it is in the public’s interest to issue this statement to allay any fears and quell rumors with facts.
HuntingtonNow.com also does not report on suicides or such non-criminal deaths as drug overdoses, under ordinary circumstances.
The rumors were apparently fed by concerns about six recent hanging deaths of black men around the country, leading to suspicion that they might have actually been murdered.