Tragic discovery in Thacher Park
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 — (timesunion.com: Capital Region Headlines) –
NEW SCOTLAND — The body of an Albany man who plunged to his death in an apparent suicide from the overlook at Thacher Park was discovered Monday. His empty car had been discovered Sunday evening by park police, who left for the night after being unable to locate anyone.
The victim, 53-year-old Timothy Easley, had not left behind a suicide note or anything else at the car to make park police suspicious after the park manager encountered the unattended vehicle at about 4:30 p.m. as the park was about to close, according to state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee.
Officers searched trails around the car, ran their siren in a bid to attract its owner, and then left a note on the vehicle and locked the gate to the parking lot for the night, she said.
“There was no note, no drugs, no signs of violence, (or) of any of the things that the Park Police normally look for,” Larrabee said. Checks with Albany city and county law enforcement also did not yield arrest warrants or anything unusual. A visit to the victim’s residence also yielded nothing,
A neighbor told police that an ambulance had been at the residence the week before because of emotional upset. “We were told by the ambulance that the victim had refused treatment,” said Larrabee, who could not describe the nature of the ambulance call.
After police returned Monday morning to find the car still there, police conducted a wider search, aided by a State Police helicopter and the Albany County Search and Rescue Team, and found the victim’s body at the bottom of the overlook escarpment. The overlook is a minimum 100-foot drop over a sheer limestone cliff, and has been the scene of several suicides and accidental falls over the years.
The body was found about 10:15 a.m. east of the overlook and “not close to where the car was parked,” said Larrabee.
Larrabee said police followed standard procedures. She denied any suggestions that Park Police did not remain on the scene Sunday night because of concerns over overtime expense. Officers were on regular time until midnight, she added.
“We do not restrict overtime in emergencies,” she said, noting that the parks department has been paying overtime for recent episodes including lost hikers in Allegany State Park, Bear Mountain and Taconic Ridge.
Brian Nearing can be reached at 454-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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