BECKET — Campers who were out gathering supplies in the woods Thursday for an event at Camp Lenox instead found a decomposing body. Investigators believe the body is a 35-year-old man whose cause of death is preliminarily thought to be a suicide, authorities said.
The campers discovered the human remains while they were gathering wood for an event called the “Rope Burn,” according to an email from camp directors Richard and Stephanie Moss to parents and guardians that was shared with The Eagle. They found the body around 3:30 p.m. behind the camp in a wooded area near Werden Road, a state police spokesman confirmed.
“A counselor and 3 of our oldest campers were in the woods at the border of camp and private property collecting wood for a big event called ‘Rope Burn.’ As they were collecting wood, they accidentally came upon the remains of a human body that appeared to have died quite a while ago. The boys and staff member came to us, reported what they saw, and we contacted to the local police to investigate this matter,” they wrote.
The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office was also alerted, and when officers responded to the Becket woods they found the body “in a state of decomposition” said Andy McKeever, spokesman for the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.
McKeever said the state police unit is still investigating how the man died, and said his body is now in the custody of the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. State police spokesman David Procopio confirmed in an email that the man may have died by suicide, and said “to date no evidence suggesting foul play has been found.”
Investigators believe they have identified the man, whose identity Procopio said would not be made public if the suspected cause of death is confirmed after an autopsy.
The leadership of the sleepaway Camp Lenox said it has talked to the campers who discovered the man’s decomposing body, and will continue to keep tabs on them. The camp also notified members of the camp community about the incident called “strange but true.”
“At this point, they seem emotionally stable and excited to be in color war,” the Mosses wrote of the campers and staffer who saw the man’s corpse. “We really have no other information at this time and will keep you informed if there is any news that is relevant to camp.”
Stephanie Moss clarified to the The New York Post that the body was “not on camp property” but declined to further comment.