2 d Newsdesk
Country singer Tyler Rich had a rough end to 2020 after finding a dead body during a run on New Year's Eve.
The musician shared his shock find with fans in a series of Instagram posts, revealing he came across what he initially thought was a young, homeless man sleeping face down in the wooded area of the Chicopee Memorial State Park in Massachusetts, where he had been visiting his wife's family.
He ran past the guy at first, but then decided to check on him, before discovering the bloody truth.
"I realize he isn't breathing, and as I get around to the front of him, all I see is a lifeless face covered in blood. Everywhere. Looked like maybe shot, or blunt force," he described. "At this moment, I freak out and sprint up the steep hill to try and find anyone with a phone to call police."
Rich managed to flag down a couple and called the police, and spent the next hour or two giving his statement to local authorities, including the FBI, who are still investigating the matter.
Officers eventually found a gun in the man's hand, hidden under his body, leading them to conclude, "It potentially could have been a suicide".
However, Rich was left shaken by the grisly find and admits it was only a small comfort knowing the guy's body was unlikely to have been dumped.
"I'm doing what I can to process this, the image, the reality. It's been a rough 24 hours… Something I'll never unsee or forget…," he wrote. "He looked like a young, normal kid. Someone with a family probably wondering where he was."
Honouring the man as he closed his post, Rich added, "Whoever you are and were RIP friend."
Rich, 34, has since connected with the man's family, learning his name was Eric and that he was "a horror movie and pop punk fan" – and he's convinced he was meant to be the one to find his body.
"We had a ton in common," the singer reflected in a follow-up post. "I wish I got to meet him, have a beer with him, and talk about what was hurting him so much. I'm broken over this and I didn't even know him. Hug your loved ones as tight as you can today."