Around 6 a.m. on Saturday, firefighters responded to a call placed by a Woodhaven resident about what seemed to be a burning pile of garbage, but when they arrived at the scene at 86th Street and Park Lane South, they discovered the victim's burned body.
Police have not released the man's identity.
The crime has stirred up concern among residents, some worrying about the park's safety. But Ed Wendell, a community activist and president of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association, said the park is relatively safe.
“Police travel through there at different times monitoring activity,” he said. “And around that time, the park is already moving with joggers and dog walkers.”
Police spent hours searching for clues around the park. An investigation is ongoing.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy over the weekend, but did not release any details.