“Body of Homeless Man Identified as 69-Year-Old Melvin Peterson in Rochester Park”

By | July 19, 2023



The Rochester Police Department has identified the body found in Soldiers Field Memorial Park on Tuesday morning. The deceased individual has been identified as 69-year-old Melvin Peterson, who was described as homeless. Police Captain Casey Moilanen stated that Peterson’s death was reported by a man who had been living next to him in an apparent homeless encampment in the park.

According to Moilanen, Peterson’s neighbor had called out to him on Monday morning but did not receive a response. When he checked on Peterson later in the evening, he found him unresponsive and assumed he was deceased. The caller charged his phone and contacted the police.

At this time, there are no signs of foul play or suspicious activity surrounding Peterson’s death. However, officers did find drug paraphernalia in the tent where he was residing. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of death, including a toxicology report, which will take several weeks to obtain.

This is the second death to be reported in a homeless encampment in a Rochester park this summer. Last month, the body of 61-year-old Carl Blade was discovered in Cook Park. The cause and manner of his death are still pending, but there are no indications of foul play.

In light of these incidents, it is important to remember that help is available for those struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website provides resources, and individuals can also call 1-800-622-HELP or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889 for assistance.

These unfortunate deaths highlight the challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness and the need for ongoing support and resources to address their needs..