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.

Related story

Nichols School likely to remain closed after blast

Man killed by bomb near Nichols School

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. Evanston Police

    I gotta agree with wyatt an should call him a hero.  Unlike the police he found the body.  The park is close to the school an the first time the police were called after the explosion in the morning they didn’t find anything.  Wyatt’s dog found the man the explosive device, could have walked off but he did something an called the police to  save the day.  The victim was found with his hands underneath his body an the police call it a suicide.  i want to leave evanston cause of the cops.

    1. So a man’s dog is attracted

      So a man’s dog is attracted to the odor of  body as it would to roadkill and you’re ready to designate him, the man, a hero? Seriously? The dog reacted and your ‘hero’ called in after he debated with another woman if the body was a mannequin or real. The dog did not find the explosive device, Wyatt didn’t dismantle it with a safety pin like MacGyver. He did the right thing and let the police respond. They approached the body, located other deadly devices, and then secured the immidiate area. Lastly, his hands were not under his body. They were detached from his arms and nowhere to be found. Check your facts…

    2. Who wouldn’t call the police?

      I’m sure this Wyatt is a great guy but hero?  Really, who would find a dead body and NOT call the police?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.