STAPLES - The Staples Police Department is investigating the death of a man whose body was found shortly after noon Wednesday behind a business in Staples.
Jolleen Yungbauer discovered the man's body after returning to her business about noon Wednesday on Sixth Street Northeast and parking behind the building. She glanced down and saw a foot in a shoe near a weathered wooden fence in the parking area.
"I kind of got nervous and I followed the shoe up the fence line and saw a head," Yungbauer said.
She sat in her truck for a few moments and called to a family member nearby. "I said you guys I think there's a body over there."
The man was fully dressed, lying on his stomach and did not have readily visible injuries, Yungbauer said. They called 911. The body was just off an alley behind businesses and apartments in the 100 block of Sixth Street Northeast. Yungbauer was relieved she hadn't noticed the body earlier in the morning when she had her daughter with her.
A body of a 46-year-old man was found Wednesday between a shed and a wooden fence, behind a business in the 100 block of Sixth Street Northeast in Staples. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
In a telephone interview late Wednesday afternoon, Staples Police Chief Kyle Huber said the body was found near the victim's residence.
Police were called to the scene at 12:13 p.m. Wednesday by the person who found the man.
"When police arrived, they found a 46-year-old male from Staples known to police," Staples Police Chief Kyle Huber said in a news release.
In the telephone interview, Huber declined to elaborate whether foul play is suspected.
"We don't know if it's, I mean, it's unusual that a 46-year-old man is dead in a yard," he said. "I would not classify it as a homicide. We don't know yet."
In regard to the victim, Huber said, "We know him. He's a local."
Huber said the deceased, who was not believed to have been employed, had an arrest record. He declined to elaborate on the previous arrests, although he said he believed the arrests mostly were for minor, or misdemeanor-type, offenses.
The man is believed to have died sometime in the previous 12 hours before the body was found. An autopsy will be performed by the Anoka County medical examiner's office.
Jolleen Yungbauer talked about finding the body of a 46-year-old man behind her business Wednesday in Staples. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Yungbauer, owner of Simplicity salon and spa, was shaken by her discovery. Her business has been in the neighborhood for about a year. She described the neighborhood as a good one and said she saw the victim in the city but did not know him well.
Across the alley, Ken Klose, owner of Ken's Fifth Street Photos and Frames, had learned about the body after he returned from his child's swim meet in Little Falls.
"I was a little surprised," Klose said.
Klose described the neighborhood as a good, quiet one that has improved in the last five to 10 years. Klose has been in business there about nine years and rents apartments in the building. Klose said he was not particularly worried about safety or security in the neighborhood following the discovery.
The death remains under investigation; no arrests have been made.
Assisting Staples police are the Todd County Sheriff's Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
KATHI NAGORSKI may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5859.
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