Homeless man found dead near recently cleared camp

Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

A man was found dead next to his sleeping bag Monday near a former large homeless encampment site that Crescent City has been working since last week to clear.

Michael Belk, 51, of Cave Junction, Ore., was found in brush Monday afternoon by passersby near the Elk Creek trailhead between Crescent City Cinemas and the Thai House, authorities said.

Belk likely had been dead for two days, said police Sgt. Erik Apperson.

"We found no signs indicative of foul play," said Apperson.

Police believe Belk had been a transient in Crescent City for the past two months, Apperson said.

"I'm not aware of any structure he was living in," said Apperson. "He was frequenting the homeless encampments back there."

In a combined effort, Crescent City took to the brush and structures last week attempting to clear out the area and move out the homeless people who had been sleeping there.

They were provided with information about places to findaid, shelter and food, police said.

Belk was one of those people; he was transported to Our Daily Bread Ministries last weekend, Apperson said.

"He made his way back to that area somehow," said Apperson.

Reach Anthony Skeens at askeens@triplicate.com .

14078165
The Del Norte Triplicate
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Wednesday August 24, 2016

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