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Police find in Forest Park burned body of dead man

Police investigate a dead body found in Forest Park. Photo by Rich Bockmann
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A man out for a walk with his dog in Forest Park over the weekend found the charred body of a homeless man who was apparently consumed by a fire he set to keep warm, police said.

Police said they got the tip around noon Sunday, and when they arrived at the entrance to the park at Park Lane South and Freedom Drive, the man, later identified as Paul Bivainis, was dead.

A walking trail that winds its way up a hill leads to the spot where the 42-year old had made a camp, the ground charred black and the melted remains of a plastic bag clinging to the branches of a tree.

The site was littered with empty alcohol containers and a couple of grates for cooking.

A Woodhaven couple walking their dogs later in the day said they could recall recent incidents where dead bodies were found in the park, and thought it was a shame Bivainis met such a fate.

“It seems like a terrible accident for some homeless guy to catch on fire,” said John, who opted not to give his last name.

In November, police discovered the body of a 21-year-old Brooklyn man in a pile of trees the city Parks Department had dumped during the cleanup of Superstorm Sandy.

Investigators said the man’s throat had been slit.

In May, firefighters responded to a small brush fire several blocks west from Sunday’s discovery and found the lifeless body of an unidentified man.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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