Last Updated: 11:23 a.m.
A homeless person was found dead as firefighters battled a small fire in the wooded, vacant land between Superwash Express and the construction zone for a new assisted living facility off Cypress Point Parkway in Palm Coast Sunday night.
“They’re calling it a suspicious death right now,” a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesperson said. The identity of the individual is unknown.
Late this morning the sheriff’s office released an incident report that, while not yet identifying the individual, revealed him to be a 63-year-old homeless man.
Palm Coast Fire Department firefighters were called to the scene, a 1.5-acre parcel, at 8:41 p.m., when the call was for a brush fire. It was the same area where firefighters were called last week, for the same reason.
“When we arrived it was about 30 by 30, crews started putting water on the fire,” Palm Coast Fire Department Battalion Chief Gary Potter said. “While we were doing fire attack, we came across a deceased victim. That being said we continued the fire attack away from the body, and then contacted the state fire marshal’s office, then put out the rest of the fire.”
The fire was contained to the 30-by-30 area, a few feet from a tent presumably used by a homeless person. The blue and white tent was intact, as was a bicycle, a few feet further off. “The body was in the fire area,” Potter said.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was soon on the scene, establishing a crime scene, as was the state fire marshal and the Palm Coast Fire Police. (Engine 21, Engine 23, Battalion 20 and 22 had all responded.)
According to a sheriff’s incident report, Palm Coast firefighter Patrick Juliano told authorities that when firefighters arrived at the scene, Juliano “observed an older white male riding his bicycle on Cypress Point Pkwy towards Belle Terre Pkwy.” A 22-year-old Palm Coast resident had noticed the fire while driving by, calling it in. The caller had also noticed that “an older male, wearing a gray sweat shirt, with blue jeans [was] leaving the area on a bicycle.” The 22 year old talked to the unknown man as he was exiting the woods, asking him what happened. “The unknown male stated that he did not know and [started] to pedal away,” the incident report states.
Firefighters cleared the scene just before midnight, not long after the arrival of the medical examiner, who claimed the body and took it to St. Augustine for an autopsy. At dawn this morning, only one official from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was at the scene, which was still roped off, as workers from Superwash Express were preparing to open the business. The cypress brush in the area of the fire was charred, and just beyond it, near the tent, a few belongings were on the ground, including a rolled up blanket and a couple of plastic bags.
The lead agency investigating the case has not been determined, the sheriff’s spokesperson said: that will depend on whether the death is ruled malicious or accidental.
The north end of Cypress Point Parkway was from time to time the scene of brush fires before it developed, most notably in 2012, when a fire that was ostensibly “controlled” burned some 5 acres.
Sounds like the murderers tried to cover up a crime scene. Par for the course in this dump. RIP
This is awful to hear. It makes we wish we did a better job of not permitting them to sleep anywhere in Palm Coast and rather enforce them to go to a shelter in Flagler or Volusia County—where they could get services and hopefully save their lives.
There is no shelter in Flagler County for a single male, unless he is fleeing domestic violence. The Step-Up shelter in Volusia County is only for Volusia Residents, Flagler County homeless are not allowed there.
Palm Coast needs to nip this in the bud before it looks like the streets of San Francisco, and I’m not talking about the ones Karl Malden and Michael Douglas used to patrol.
My boyfriend and I are the ones who called in the fire and stopped the guy on the bike. He literally came right from the fire as it was happening , I wish I would have followed him, But we just questioned him and he rode away . When we asked him what was going
On he said “oh I don’t know” , as if there wasn’t a blazing fire 20 ft from him .
Have you seen that guy since? Mark was not homeless !! I’m wondering if you would be willing to talk with me my email is [email protected]
It doesn’t sit well with me that it’s over a year later and there’s not been even a follow up article autopsy results or have they even named him please if you have any more information please get in touch with me
Have you seen the man sense? I’d love to be able to talk to you my email address is [email protected]
This man was murdered he was not homeless he saved my life.
So sad…not the American dream for many. Too bad our taxes go for all these useless overseas currents wars to defend other people’s freedoms while we let ours die in this way!
Donna Heiss says
Some of these comments are just not realistic. “Enforce them to go to a shelter”? No, no , no that is not a solution.
Anyone remember the fire at the homeless camp behind Walmart? Ever investigated? Umm, no. Said it was started by the homeless. Nah I don’t buy that for half a second. “Just burn them out so they will move on”. Now a man is dead. Not cool Palm Coast, not cool.
Honestly? I would fall over if my comment was printed.
CB from PC says
Yeah, get out the torches if the pitchforks don’t work to run them out of town. Bada Bing, thump.
Seriously, it is “not cool” to expect people who worked for what they have to provide a haven for those who choose to pursue the “homeless lifestyle”. No to County shelters, etc. We do not need a mini-San Francisco, LA or Austin.
He was NOT a homeless man – his name was Mark, and he lived in a home in the p-section. He was a beloved son and brother. A friend to the gentlemen staying in the woods. A tragic death for any soul to have to walk. R.I.P. Mark.
Chico Chad says
Rip Marky mark. You will be missed. And be in my heart. Chico Chad.
He saved my life. This is disgusting that it’s not even being investigated that man was killed murdered
Mark was not homeless may he rest in peace this was done maliciously and why it’s not still being investigated is beyond me