CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – It’s considered one of the safest areas in the city of Cambridge, but on Thursday, police were conducting a homicide investigation inside Danehy Park, looking for evidence in the beating death of 60-year-old Paul Wilson, a resident who lives nearby.
“He died as a result of blunt force trauma. Robbery does not appear to be a motive,” said Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan in an afternoon press conference.
Investigators are trying to determine if Wilson was the victim of a random attack or targeted. He was found unresponsive by a passerby around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night, and later died from his injuries after being transported to the hospital. A baseball bat was found nearby but it’s unclear if that was the weapon used.
“He obviously sustained very severe head trauma,” said Ryan.
Police are looking for the public’s help saying Wilson would have stood out in the park at 6’6″ tall, wearing shorts and a red coat. He usually walked through the area to and from his job in Cambridge.
Now the violent death has alarmed his neighbors. “It’s very violent and unnecessary,” said Elissa Ferraro who was using the Danehy Park dog park. “A lot of us have stopped coming on this side at night because it gets so dark,” said another resident who has been pleading with the city for better lighting in the park.
In the afternoon police focused on an area where they swabbed some old train tracks and bagged evidence they called items of interest. As they warn residents to be cautious, Cambridge Police Superintendent Steve DeMarco tried to reassure the public. “I’m concerned just like the community is concerned. But I want to assure people we have enhanced patrols and it is a safe location,” DeMarco said.
The case is particularly alarming since DeMarco says the park has not seen any violent crime in at least ten years. He says a community meeting is being planned in the coming days.
The Cambridge Police anonymous tipline can be reached at 617-349-3359.