Police release name of person found in Portland

OBSERVER File Photo Pictured is the scene where police found a dead body Saturday in Portland.

PORTLAND — New York State Police say they are treating the death of a man found off Route 20 in the town of Portland last week as “suspicious.”

The announcement comes after 47-year-old Brian Heyden was identified as the man found Saturday near Corell Creek across from the town park. A passerby discovered the body around 3:20 p.m. before calling police.

Heyden’s identification was confirmed following an autopsy at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.

Capt. Eric Balon of the New York State Police said Wednesday he could not release a cause of death. He said an investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation out of the Fredonia police barracks determined Heyden’s death to be “suspicious.”

“We’re being cautious with what we’re releasing as part of the investigation,” Balon told the OBSERVER, “but at this time we art treating it as suspicious.”

Following the discovery of Heyden’s body Saturday, police learned the man was homeless and “known to travel from his encampment just west of Brocton to Fredonia on a daily basis,” state police said in a statement.

Balon encouraged anyone who might have information regarding Heyden’s death to contact police.

“Even if it’s something you don’t think is important, we ask that people call us,” he said.

Heyden’s body was the first of two discovered Saturday. Police identified 48-year-old Wilfredo Rodriguez-Colon of Busti as the man found on Swanson Hill Road in the town of Randolph around 5:30 p.m. Further details, including a cause of death, has not been released.

Rodriguez-Colon was reported missing shortly before his body was found, Lakewood-Busti police said.

Balon said last week the two deaths are not believed to be connected.

Anyone with information regarding Heyden’s death is asked to call New York State Police at 665-3114 or email information to crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.