Body found near train tracks in Richmond - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Body found near train tracks in Richmond's Northside


Richmond Police are working to figure out how a body wound up next to railroad tracks in Shockoe Hill Tuesday. Police were alerted after a train worker spotted the body lying in a wooded area near the tracks.

Officers say their task now is to identify the man found dead Tuesday afternoon. They're hoping his loved ones could shed light on what he was doing in the area. Investigators are also reviewing missing person's cases to gather leads.

Valley Road and Hospital Street turned into the scene of a death investigation.

"Hopefully not a crime that was committed just especially right here so close to where we work," said Matt Gutkaiss who works in the area.

As Gutkaiss worked at an asphalt plant inside, detectives were working to figure out what happened.

"When I step outside and see something like that, it's pretty shocking especially next to a railroad track," he said.

Medical examiners were called to clear the scene. They're working to determine how the man died. Investigators believe the man is in his 50's.

"An individual on the train was able to contact police and tell us what they thought to be a body laying in the woods. Upon our response that's exactly what the officers found," said Major Steve Drew.

Drew says railroad engineers are assisting investigators, informing officers of the times trains traveled there. There does not appear to be signs of trauma to the body, and officers are reviewing missing persons reports.

"An individual may have been reported a day or two or a week ago, anytime we have a death that we don't have information on right away of what actually happened, we'll review those missing persons not just here locally but all over Virginia," Drew said.

It all happened as those who work in the area spent the afternoon alarmed by what was unfolding in their back yard.

"I hope that it was just an accident, not something that was done purposefully," Gutkaiss said.

Part of Valley Road was closed while forensics crews and medical examiners scoured the area. The scene cleared around 2:00 Tuesday afternoon. Richmond Police ask that if you saw or heard anything suspicious near those tracks, please call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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