Hikers called 911 last Friday alerting the department to a body found at the October Farm Riverfront conservation land.
According to Lt. Brian Goldman, the hikers reported an unresponsive person on a bench in the popular recreation area.
Goldman said two officers responded, along with an ambulance, a fire engine and the Fire Department captain, with another Fire Department vehicle.
“The man was unresponsive when we arrived,” said Goldman. “Upon investigation, we determined he was deceased.”
Goldman described him as in his mid to late 20s. He said a weapon was recovered at the site and taken by detectives as part of an investigation.
“There was no threat to the public,” he said.
October Farm Riverfront is an 80-acre parcel at the end of one-lane Ball’s Hill Road. It is jointly owned by the town and the Concord Land Conservation Trust.
Goldman said there were construction and landscaping vehicles parked on the narrow rural road, requiring careful navigation by the bulky emergency response vehicles, but “there were no issues” with the department’s response time, nor with officers getting to the trail. He said responding a few minutes sooner than they did would have made no difference in this case.
But that was contradicted by residents along the road who say reaching the site was held up by approximately three minutes.
Pierce Browne, who lives at 154 Ball’s Hill, said the narrow road is increasingly causing traffic to drive along a new rut outside the pavement.
”As a 51-year resident of Ball’s Hill Road, I feel qualified to comment,” wrote Browne in an email. He supplied a photo showing that vehicles have carved a new track in the road.
“It makes no difference whose trucks, cars or emergency vehicles cause the congestion,” he continued, “Public access and “improvements” to Land Trust and Audubon properties have caused an explosion in usage over the past two years.
“This enchanting, single-lane pathway, laid out in the 1700’s, was never intended to carry such a burden,” Browne said. “Last year’s car rollover into a ditch and Friday’s anxious moments are but previews of what lies ahead. The only sensible long-range solution is an alternative means of access.”
According to emergency response protocol, he said the Medical Examiner was called, along with State Police Crime Scene Services, to process the scene and take possession of the body.
Ball’s Hill is covered under the town’s Scenic Roads bylaw, which can restrict certain alterations to the roadway.
Mass Audubon has a location in Brewster’s Woods, a 130-acre parcel along Balls Hill Road. It is building facilities for expanded programs at the wildlife sanctuary.