Image copyright Stanley Black/Facebook Image caption Daniel Prude was found dead on 5 October in Rochester, Massachusetts The Worcester Police Department has announced that one of its own officers has been put on disciplinary leave after finding the body of a man found in a bag in a Massachusetts park in October. Daniel Prude, 24, was found dead in the Rough Creek Lake State Park, near Rochester, in October 2018. The
Poway Police Department in California is looking into whether the incident could have been handled differently. Worcester has referred the case to Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey’s office for review. Prude was last seen leaving his home in Rochester on 26 September. The Poway Police Department in California are investigating whether Worcester’s officer responding to a missing persons call knew Mr Prude
when he arrived on 25 October. They are also investigating whether Mr Prude may have been there at the time that an unidentified officer went to the Rough Creek Lake State Park in Worcester to look for him. According to officials, both officers found a body in a bag in the same area. Image copyright Stanley Black/Facebook Image caption Daniel Prude was found in a red plastic bag Once the body was positively
identified as that of Mr Prude, the police department said its own investigation was under way. The state’s attorney general’s office said that it has not received any formal referral regarding the case, and that it would conduct its own investigation “at the earliest possible time”. On Thursday, the department announced the officer would be placed on permanent administrative leave following a mandatory internal
review. The officer’s name has not been released. ‘Terrible in several ways’ A letter from Poway Police Commander Tim Cunningham said the incident was difficult for officers “because this is a terrible situation”. “In addition to reviewing each of the facts of this case, our officers were required to cope with significant levels of concern for the welfare of the victim, and potentially felt a level of frustration and
uncertainty that led to somewhat damaging behaviour during that investigation,” the letter reads. “In addition, numerous factors contributed to the tragedy, including the dangerous environment in which Dan was found, the fact that police work is inherently dangerous, the stressors associated with a time when the officer’s time and life were spent looking for Dan, the poor work practices of officers, and the training
they received.” In the same letter, he said “most of us will never experience this type of tragedy in our careers”. “[F]or this reason, it is our sincere hope that those who are lost to suicide will be recognized as a hero and will receive the honors that they deserve,” he said.