EAST BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts State Police have added more patrols in Belle Isle Marsh Reservation as they investigate the death of a man found hurt there, and an attack that recently took place in the park.

Both incidents, which police say appear to be similar, happened in broad daylight. On May 29, 83-year-old Daniel Pepe was found with injuries so severe, he could not communicate to police what had happened to him. He died June 1.

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State Police have stopped short of saying Pepe was assaulted, and his death has not been ruled a homicide.  They said they need to know more about the incident first.

Daniel Pepe died after an attack on Belle Isle Marsh (WBZ-TV)

Daniel Pepe died after he was found hurt in Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. (WBZ-TV)

But on the same day of Pepe’s death, a 67-year-old Lynn man was assaulted, he told investigators, by a white man in his 20s or 30s. The victim told investigators that the attacker was approximately 5’9” tall, and wore a hat, t-shirt, and shorts that were all beige or brown in color.

As State Police looked into a possible connection between the two incidents, some visitors were left wondering about the question of timing when it came to authorities notifying the public.

“My friend was here when it happened, and I was just wondering why it never showed up on the news,” said park visitor Don Boudreau.

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State Police explained that they weren’t originally involved in the May 29 incident, and did not determine until Monday that the circumstances of both incidents seemed similar.



One park visitor, Mary Cannon, said she’s been coming to the serene and peaceful park with her dogs for at least 25 years.

“That was really strange that that happened in the middle of the day, with everybody down here,” Cannon said.

She said she’s noticed the increased patrols.

“Yesterday I was down here and there was a state cop car driving around inside the park, and then another state cop came out and he was walking around the park,” she said.

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Mounted State Police patrols seen in the park Wednesday afternoon.