Body found by park pond

DOZENS of police officers today sealed off an Ipswich park as an inquiry got underway after the body of a man was found lying face down next to a pond.

By Georgina James

DOZENS of police officers today sealed off an Ipswich park as an inquiry got underway after the body of a man was found lying face down next to a pond.

Detectives immediately took charge and ordered that Holywells Park was sealed off, with uniformed officers guarding all entrances.

An early morning dog walker spotted the body of the man and alerted emergency services, with an ambulance crew reaching the scene shortly after 8.00am and confirming that there was nothing they could do.

Officers led by Detective Inspector John Quinton quickly reached the scene and all members of the public were escorted off the park.

The body was discovered next to the middle pond in a series of six, which stretches from Nacton Road to the wilderness area close to Holywells Road.

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It was near a childrens' play area.

A red car was removed from where it had been left by the driver, in a no-parking area by the Nacton Road entrance to the park and a pedestrian crossing.

The S-registered Citroen Xsara was taken away on the back of a recovery truck at 11am.

The dog walker, understood to be an elderly man who was deeply shocked by what he saw at 8am, was later being interviewed by detectives.

The paramedics were also being interviewed.

Police were initially unable to provide any further information - but are understood to be treating the case with all the seriousness of a murder inquiry.

A Home Office pathologist was understood to be at the scene and the body was not expected to be moved for several hours.

The area where the body was discovered is in some of Ipswich finest park land - but has had a growing reputation for attracting unsavoury characters and the police have been called in at various times.

Scenes of crimes officers were at the scene, carrying out detailed forensic examinations and this is why the park remained close, at least for the rest of the day.

Local councillor Liz Harsant, who is also a member of the friends of Holywells Park, said: "I walk my dog in the park every day, and today I was just going into the park when I saw a chap I knew who had told me what he had found.

"There was a body in the pond, and he called the police immediately. Now he is at home telling the police what he found.

"Within a few minutes police had arrived at the park and closed all the entrances to it, a lot of people will have seen what has happened because there are quite a few who go walking their dogs there in the mornings.

"Although I am a councillor I have been told nobody can say anything about this to me at the moment. I'll have to find out later."

A police spokeswoman said: "Shortly before 8am today police received a report from a member of the public that a male had been seen laying at the edge of the pond in Holywells Park, Ipswich.

"Police and ambulance attended and discovered the body of a male.

"At this point in time police are treating the death as suspicious.

"Holywells Park has been closed to members of the public to assist police with their investigation."

Anyone who has information relating to this incident should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.