Man's body found burned in Far South Side forest preserve

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A burned body was found Sunday in the Beaubien Forest Preserve on Chicago's Far South Side. (WLS)

The body of a man was found burned Sunday night in a Cook County forest preserve on Chicago's Far South Side.

Just before 7 p.m., two people discovered the body while walking in the Beaubien Forest Preserve, south of 130th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has not released the victim's identity. Investigators are using fingerprints to identify the body.

A cause of death has not been determined. Also, it is unclear whether the victim died in the forest preserve, or whether the body was dumped.

Sunday night, authorities were contacted about a fire, but the body was discovered when the fire was put out. Contrary to initial reports, a Cook County sheriff's spokeswoman said the victim's hands did not appear to be bound.

The gruesome discover has rattled residents in nearby Altgeld Gardens, who have children who attend Carver Military Academy High School, which is located inside the woods.

"It's shocking," said Larry Nettles. "I never thought anything like that could happen here because I'm back here, a lot."

"My daughter told me she saw the police standing by the woods. It kinda didn't cross my mind because there's a lot of gang-banger stuff around here," said Michelle Johnson.

The Beaubien Forest Preserve is a public recreation space featuring nature trails and access to a lake and river.

In daylight, it's a beautiful area. But neighbors said it can be unsafe at night.

"Certain hours, I know not to, I don't come out at certain hours anyway," said Nettles.

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