The death of an adult male found hanging in the woods in Peter A. Nelson Park in Huntington Monday morning has been declared a suicide, Suffolk Police said.
Authorities, who rarely comment or provide details on suicides, released a statement Monday afternoon after rumors circulated on social media that a black man was found hanging from a tree.
But police said evidence recovered at the scene and the victim's home, including a letter left for his family offering a reason for his actions, indicates the cause of death was suicide.
Authorities are not releasing the man's age or race, and the victim's family has requested that their identity, as well as the identity of the decedent, be withheld to protect their privacy, police said.
"As a matter of policy, the Suffolk County Police Department does not normally comment on noncriminal death investigations," the department said in a statement. "The department investigates approximately 100 suicides annually. However, we are aware of unfortunate rumors circulating on social media and throughout the community regarding this investigation, and believe that it is in the public’s interest to issue this statement to allay any fears and quell rumors with facts."
An autopsy will be performed by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.
Police said they received a 911 call at approximately 7:20 a.m. Monday. The park where the man was found is near Henry L. Stimson Middle School on Oakwood Road in West Hills.