Updated: Thursday, 14 Oct 2010, 2:44 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 11 Oct 2010, 4:42 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Coroner, E. Jon Brandenberger released the name of the man Thursday who hanged himself near the Maumee River. He has been identified as Norman C. Seaman, 57.
Brandenberger ruled Seaman's manner of death Tuesday and determined it indeed was a suicide.
Students from an alternative school in New Haven were on a canoe trip Monday afternoon when they spotted the body near the Maumee River in Fort Wayne.
According to Fort Wayne police, officers were called around 2:18 p.m. to a wooded area approximately one mile east of the bridge at 1100 S. Coliseum Blvd. near Lakeside Golf Course.
NewChannel 15 talked to one of the students who found the body. Amber, 17, did not want her last name revealed. She said a friend who was in the canoe with her asked if she saw a pair of boots hanging from a tree.
"I turned around and we saw boots hanging," said Amber. "And (my friend) just turned around we just saw his whole body and stuff."
At first, her teachers and the rest of the group thought it was a Halloween decoration. Amber said when they got closer, they saw the body of an African-American man hanging from a tree. Police haven't confirmed the person's gender or race, saying the body is so decomposed that the identification will be left up to the coroner.
Amber told NewsChannel 15 the man was hanging by a rope and wearing a long sleeved shirt and pants and looked like he was in his late 20's or early 30's and she thought he'd passed away a long time ago.
"We could smell him and just... it was really sad," said Amber. "His skin started turning yellow. He was decaying on his face. He just looked really, really bad."
Amber said the body was hidden in the right spot. She doesn't think anyone would've found it if the leaves hadn't started to fall. She still can't believe she found it.
"My whole life I don't think I would ever see a dead body just hanging... so it was really shocking," she said.
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