Ricardo Rivera, RIP

posted by Mike on March 21st, 2006

A man walking his dog in Green Hill Park yesterday found the body of a homeless man, the third discovered in the city in five weeks.

Ricardo Rivera, 57, was found dead in the woods near the Stanton Street area, police spokesman Sgt. Gary J. Quitadamo said.
(Telegram & Gazette, subscription required)

The number of known people living on the street has more than doubled with the approach of spring, although the weather has been fierce at times. Yesterday’s low was 18F.

Update: Telegram & Gazette:

The family of the 57-year-old man found dead in Green Hill Park Monday morning said he was not homeless and had been taking medication since he started becoming “confused.”


Mr. Rivera’s family said yesterday he had lived with them in the city for the past four years or so and had left sometime Thursday night. The family searched for him, but could not find him.

So was he officially a “missing person” at some point? The police say he was known to stay at the PIP. Did his family figure he’d just wandered off again? The newspaper story is sparse on the details.

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On March 22, 2006 at 15:46 Adam (Southern California) said:

    What kind of causes of death are common for the homeless? Are they dying of exposure/hypothermia, or of natural causes, etc.? I wonder what the difference in fatality rate is between places like Massachusetts where it gets cold in the winter and warm-weather climates.

  2. On March 22, 2006 at 21:44 Mike (Worcester) said:

    From chatting with doctors, I gather that sleeping outside in cold weather tends to weaken a person, who then dies of heart trouble or whatever. The life expectancy of a homeless person is in the 40s. I haven’t read the studies so I don’t know what factors come into play here. Homeless people are probably much more likely than the general population to suffer from addictions or mental illness, which would hurt your chances of survival right there.

    It’s important to note that the man referenced in the article above was not homeless, according to his family. Without more info, it’s hard to say whether he was homeless in the usual sense of the word.

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