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Hanging corpse found in Claremont Canyon

By Kurtis Alexander, Daily Planet Staff
Wednesday May 29, 2002

An early morning hiker in the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve was shaken Tuesday when he stumbled upon a human body hanging lifeless from the branch of a tree, according to East Bay Regional Park officials. 

A preliminary investigation following the hiker’s 7 a.m. report branded the incident a suicide that was apparently committed during the late night hours of Memorial Day. 

The body has so far been identified only as an East Bay man in his early 30s. Park police have withheld his identity pending the notification of his family. 

The body was sighted beside a dirt fire road, three quarters of a mile from the preserve’s boundary on Stonewall Road in the Claremont neighborhood, according to park officials. 

The tree that served as the brace for the hanging was just feet from the restricted access road, officials said. 

“Unfortunately, these kinds of things happen in parks, but not that often,” said Sgt. Jon King of the park police. 

Park officials closed the fire road to the public for several hours Tuesday while the body was removed from the park and the scene was surveyed by police. 

Claremont resident Leon Regelson, taking his daily walk, was surprised to find the access road closed and to see a number of law enforcement vehicles on site, representing park police and the Oakland Police Department. 

“I’ve been walking up there for years, and I’ve never heard of any violence or anything,” Regelson said.  

“People are generally real friendly on the trail,” he added. 

Park police hope to have the investigation completed by Friday. Officers were not revealing any further details about the situation.