Jeff Heuchert, Stratford Gazette
Stratford police aren’t speculating as to the cause of death of a man whose body was found Monday next to the Cooper site building.
Reports that a body had been found began circulating around the city through sites like Twitter in the early afternoon, shortly after yellow police tape was strung around the abandoned industrial structure, which at one time housed the CN rail shops.
A large group of youth hung out at the nearby skate park where, through the tall grass and a fence, officers and the coroner could be seen examining the body, which lay awkwardly on the pavement immediately to the east of the building.
Insp. Mike Bellai of the Stratford Police Service told local media at around 3:30 p.m. that police are in the preliminary stages of their investigation, but that foul play has yet to be ruled out.
Police have also yet to confirm the man’s identity or provide an approximate age. Bellai said he expects to have more information about the victim within the next 24 hours.
At one point one of the individuals inspecting the body could be seen pointing to the top of the Cooper building. Asked about the possibility of the man having fallen or jumped to his death, Bellai said there have been no witnesses to come forward to suggest any scenario.
“What we’re going to do is run our investigation and then see where it goes from there,” he noted, adding the next steps will be to perform an autopsy on the victim and process the crime scene. “With cases like this we like to make sure we take our time and make sure we don’t miss anything.”
Police ask anyone who saw anything suspicious around the Cooper building to call the Stratford Police Service and ask to speak with Det. Peter Kolkman.