The death of a man whose body was found tied to a cinder block in Brooklyn has been determined to be a homicide.
The medical examiner said the body showed signs of fatal blunt force trauma to the head, according to WNBC.
The body was found in Mill Basin wrapped in a blue tarp sealed with duct tape. An electrical cord wrapped around the man's leg was connected to a cinder block, according to police.
Stephanie Kelso said that she had a friend who had seen the blue tarp floating in the basin on Sept. 1, and she believed that the body had been in the basin since at least then.
"That's the way they try to get rid of the evidence," said Alex Newirth of the state the body was found in. Newirth said he had heard helicopters on Sept. 2 before hearing about the body.
"It's very unusual for this area," said one local woman. "Not something we expect. It's a very safe area."
According to WPIX, police said the body had some amount of decomposition. The man's identity has not been released and no one has been charged in the case yet. The investigation is ongoing.
It's not rare that police find bodies floating in waterways in New York City, according to The New York Times. However, the time of this particular discovery is unusual, since the bodies are generally found in spring, when temperatures rise and speed up decomposition, causing the production of gases that result in remains floating up to the surface.
Forensic anthropologist Marcella Sorg said that the tarp in which the body was found may have slowed its decomposition, in addition to the depth and temperature of the water the body was found in.
"When they’re wrapped like that, depending on how well they’re wrapped, it protects the body from scavengers and being pulled part," said Sorg, who also suggested a storm surge could have moved the body from a deeper area to Mill Basin.
"Cinder blocks are heavy, so I would say storm surges are stronger," said Sorg.
In 2016, another body was found in similar conditions around Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn. The victim, 28-year-old Peter Martinez, was found with his legs encased in a 5-gallon bucket of cement.
"This individual was wrapped in black plastic bags and his arms were tied behind him," said NYPD chief detective Robert Boyce. "His feet were submerged in poured concrete, obviously a homicide."
Martinez's death has not led to any arrests, but the investigation is still ongoing.