This post contains content regarding suicide.
Country star Tyler Rich found a dead body while on a New Year's Eve run and subsequently detailed his discovery in a series of Instagram posts on Friday and Saturday.
Rich said he was running at Chicopee Memorial State Park in Massachusetts when he made the gruesome discovery. "Not the way I planned on closing out 2020… I guess my last day of the year made sense," Rich wrote to his over 250,000 Instagram followers.
He said that, at first, he figured the body was a "young homeless man sleeping." The man, according to Rich, was lying face down with a bag tied around his foot. "After running around him, I felt bad for him, he was sleeping facedown and just looked like he was in a bad place. So, I turned around and went back to check on him," Rich, who was his visiting wife Sabina Gadecki's family in Massachusetts, explained.
"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," the 34-year-old continued.
He said the man looked like he was in his late teens to early 20s. "His skin was still white. Didn't look like it happened too long before I got there," Rich said.
Rich said he used a nearby couple's phone to call 911 and then "spent about an hour doing statements with state troopers, FBI, local police, detectives, etc." "After some time, the officers found a gun in one of his hands under his body, which means it potentially could have been a suicide," he wrote.
He said that while it being a possible suicide will not help him "cope" with the discovery, knowing the man wasn't "discarded by someone else, and that he was there where he wanted to be, will at least put me a little more at ease."
Rich said he'll "never forget" the incident. "My heart breaks for this poor young man. This will be an image and moment of my life I'll never forget," he wrote.
"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. …Whoever you are and were, RIP friend," he ended the post.
In another series of posts on Saturday, Rich said he was "still reflecting" on the incident and feels like he was meant to be "in that random part of the park at the exact time I was supposed to be, to find that young man."
"There are many coincidences that make me truly believe he led me to where he was at," Rich said.
"I found him right around noon. About 30 minutes later, I looked down at my watch. My running app had paused once I stopped and found him, and it said my average pace at that time was... 11:11," he wrote, noting that the number is "a good omen."
The singer revealed he spoke with the man's mother on Friday and called it "one of the toughest things I can remember." "We talked about the timeline and series of events. She told (me) the last text he was at 11:11. And I found him just 45 minutes later. I truly believe his spirit led me down that random side of the mountain to find him," he wrote.
Rich has a song about loss called "11:11." "So anytime I see those numbers, it resonates with me," he wrote, pointing to the song.
"They say when you see 11:11, that angels are with you, and to wish for whatever you want. To feel at ease. That the universe is on your side," he continued. "This specific series of little events is somehow bringing comfort to his family, and myself."
Rich said his DMs are open for anyone who needs "to talk to someone." He also posted the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
People reports that Rich also identified the deceased man as "Eric" on his Instagram Story.
"His name was Eric…I see he was a horror movie and pop punk fan, with what looks like an adorable rescue pup. We had a ton in common," Rich reportedly wrote. "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."
The Massachusetts State Police is investigating the body, a spokesperson told local news outlet WWLP. It is not yet known if the death is being considered suspicious, and the man has yet to be officially identified, according to the outlet.
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