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Sunday, April 18, 2004
Updated: April 19, 8:49 AM ET
Walker found unidentified body near wooded area

ESPN.com news services

EVERGREEN, Colo. -- Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker discovered the body of an unidentified man Sunday on his property near Evergreen.

Walker called the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office after spotting the body while he was riding an all-terrain vehicle in the mountain community west of Denver, said sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Tallman.

The body was in a wooded area near a trail on his property and not near Walker's home, Tallman said. She said the Sheriff's Office has launched a possible homicide investigation.

"Mr. Walker is not a suspect," she said. "We don't know if the person was killed at the site or if his body was dumped there."

Walker "has been very cooperative, very concerned and very interested in learning more about this," Tallman told the Denver Post. "I'm sure he was not prepared" for what he saw.

Tallman told the Post few details were yet known, including the victim's identity and why or how his body ended up on Walker's property. She would not discuss any injuries or wounds the body had.

"There is some indication we just can't share at this point," Tallman told the Post. "That (an injury) would be one of them. … But at this point, it is way too early."

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, and the Sheriff's Office was to begin searching missing-persons records and open-case files to try to identify the man, Tallman said.

Walker, who is on the disabled list and not traveling with the team, made the discovery Sunday morning, notifying authorities at about 10:45 a.m., according to the Post.

Neighbors in the community where Walker lives found the news of the dead body "unnerving."

"It is so quiet here," James Thomas, one of Walker's neighbors, told the Post "You never expect anything like this."

Tallman told the paper that Jefferson County had become an attractive place for people to dispose of bodies, because it is "the first county you come to" out of the metro area. "It is wooded, and there is a lot of open area."

Neither the paper or a spokesman for the Rockies could not reach Walker for comment, and the road to his home had been blocked by sheriff's deputies.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.