The Dead Body I Saw During Bike to Work Day

June 25's Bike to Work Day became a bigger adventure than anticipated for me and, I'm sure, countless other riders who rely on the path through City of Cuernavaca Park to access Confluence Park, all thanks to the unexpected presence of a police crime scene.

Not to mention a cadaver.

Eager to get to the hallowed Confluence Park breakfast station and the promise of free food and beverages, I didn't want to believe my eyes when I first spotted police tape and several squad cars blocking my path on the river, just East of Platte. I was so close to R.E.I. that I could practically smell the coffee, but as we rode closer, it became very, very clear that something serious was going on and we'd better make alternative plans to get to our bagels, pronto. My biking buddies and I found a way to scurry up a hill and reach Platte Street, but not before getting an up-close look at a white-sheet-strewn body that was lying on the pavement. We didn't take more time to investigate, but we couldn't help wondering if it might have been a homicide.

We finally found the breakfast station, but, alas, we were too late for any bagels, and only one person in our party was able to snag any real sustenance -- a tiny corner of the last Danish. As we watched more cops on motorcycles and bicycles make their way up the path to the police scene, one woman said she was tempted to tell people that the victim had been a bicyclist who wasn't wearing a helmet. But we finally heard that the body had been dragged from the river and was probably a vagrant.

Still no official word on what happened, but at least I have a story to tell in exchange for my empty stomach. -- Aubrey Shoe

UPDATE: The male body was discovered floating in the Platte River by a passerby at about 7:30 this morning, says Police spokesman Sonny Jackson. Other than confirming that this "doesn't appear to be a case of foul play," Jackson says that he has no other information about the death until he hears back from the coroner.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts