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Police ID Body of Man Found in Inwood Hill Park

By  Carla Zanoni and Aidan Gardiner | October 1, 2012 12:15pm | Updated on October 1, 2012 5:13pm

INWOOD — The decomposing body of a man discovered in Inwood Hill Park Monday morning has been identified as Inwood resident Seyed Ali Badakhshan, police sources told DNAinfo.com New York.

Badakhshan, 78, was reported missing on Sept. 17 and was last seen at 10:30 p.m. that evening on the corner of Henshaw Street and Riverside Drive.

An Inwood resident walking his dog noticed Badakhshan's body off a pathway near Dyckman Street and Henry Hudson Parkway just after 8 a.m. Monday, police said.

Authorities found a tent in a secluded section of the woods near where he was found. Sources said they believe he had been camping in the park. It was not immediately clear how long his body had been in the woods before it was found.

Cops do not suspect foul play, but the investigation is ongoing. The medical examiner will determine the cause of the death.

A woman who asked not to be identified said she and her husband lived in Badakhshan's building for two years.

"He was a sweetie," she said. "He would try to hold the door open for you even though you were probably more capable than he was."

Jennifer Vincent, 42, a bassist who has lived in the neighborhood for two years, said she and Badakhshan would exchange pleasantries and that he would often help carry her things into the building, even though he seemed frail.

"I had been meaning to go out there and look for him since I heard he went missing," Vincent said. "I know if I looked I would have found him. I had a feeling."

Badakhshan's body was found not far from the area where Juilliard student Sarah Fox's body was found after her murder in 2004.

That case remains unsolved. The two are not believed to be connected in any way, sources said.