Update: Man’s burning body found in Portsmouth field now investigated as suicide

Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-11 16:54:16-05

Update: Police are now investigating this case as a suicide instead of a suspicious death.

Previous: Portsmouth, Va. – Police are investigating a suspicious death in Portsmouth after a man’s body was found burning in a baseball field behind Willett Hall.

Police received the initial call about a person on fire in the 3600 block of Willet Drive at 8:46 am.

Officials say the fields are used during the spring, summer and fall, but there was no game Sunday morning.

“All we know is that there are allegations that he was on fire when we responded, and he was unresponsive,” says Detective Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department.

The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police told Newschannel 3 the man’s name would not be released for a couple of days. The medical examiner is going to look at fingerprints to make a positive identification.

“It is a good neighborhood, kids are outside playing, you know to hear anything suspicious like that could go on around here, I mean anything bad could happen, but here in this neighborhood you would not think something like that could go on,” says Jermaine Hardy.

Hardy’s home is right behind the fields and says the incident has him worried for the kids that play in the neighborhood.

“Plus with the wind out here and everything I wonder how it could happen?” questions Hardy.

If you have any information that could help in this case, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.