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Gallup Sun

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Body discovered near Del Norte Elementary

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Third open field death in November

Gallup Police are trying to determine the identity of a body found on the north side of Gallup early Nov. 26.

The badly decomposed body of a Native American male was found about 8:53 am by two passers-by near the football field at 631 N. Sixth St.

Police Captain Erin Toadlena-Pablo said there was no identification on the body and it is uncertain how long the body was there.

There is no official cause of death. But police are treating it as an open field death which means death was caused by exposure to the cold weather. It is the third open field death reported so far this winter season.

The two prior open field deaths were Nov. 2 and Nov. 10. On Nov. 2 Jon Toadlena was discovered near the Puerco River.  The identity of the person found in the Patton Drive area on Nov. 10 is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The body found on Nov. 26 has been sent to the Office of Medical Investigators in Albuquerque for an autopsy.