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Man walking dog finds decapitated body

An Evanston man who says he discovered the decapitated body of a man apparently killed by an explosive device this morning says at first he thought the body was a mannequin.

Dale Wyatt talks with reporters near the scene of the explosion.

An Evanston man who says he discovered the decapitated body of a man apparently killed by an explosive device this morning says at first he thought the body was a mannequin.

Dale Wyatt talks with reporters near the scene of the explosion.

Dale Wyatt, 31, who lives in the 1100 block of Sherman Avenue, told reporters he had heard the bomb blast shortly before 4 a.m. and wasn't sure what had happened.

But about 5:45 a.m., when he was out walking his dog, he discovered the body of the man in Fitzsimons Park on Lee Street near Elmwood Avenue, just south of Nichols Middle School.

He said the body appeared to not be damaged — except that it was missing the head and neck.

Initially "I sure didn't think it was a bomb," he said of the crime scene, which he said did not appear to show any other destruction, although there was a sooty smell in the air.

The dog who helped discover the body.

Wyatt described the victim as being a white man between 35 and 45 years old, with a beer belly.

Wyatt and another person out walking in the area about the same time called police, he said, and shortly after police arrived the officers discovered what appeared to be another potential explosive device at the scene.

That one was detonated by the county bomb squad shortly after 9 a.m.

Wyatt said it upset him to imagine what the man may have been doing with explosives near the school, although he had recovered from the shock of the discovery by the time he talked to reporters a few hours later.

"But I can tell you I didn't need any coffee to wake up this morning," Wyatt added.

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