As seen in Highland Park over two years, Highland Park is a place of natural beauty, historical memory, art and pageantry. Alas, the park can also be a place of tragedy.
It has been less than a year since we learned of the murder of Charlotte Lahr in her store just across from the park on South Avenue. Then we saw an effusive outpouring of support from family, friends and customers whose lives she touched.
Last Saturday we learned that at 1:22pm a skier discovered a body in the snow on the Highland Drive side of the park.
We know very little about Eric Markham except that foul play has been ruled out and it took five days to identify him. An internet search found next to nothing about his background. We may never know what brought Mr. Markham to the park on a bitterly cold night.
Police did not say exactly where the woman discovered his body. There is a trail used by cross country skiers on the Highland Drive side near the Guardian statue. Occasionally, usually in the summer, you can find traces of habitation by homeless people.
For those of us who walk or walk dogs or ski in the park — snow covered or lilac covered — we can imagine the shock and sadness of that woman who discovered Eric Markham.
Beauty is always tinged with sorrow.
UPDATE: A reader provided some new information: “Body was near the Day Care Center playground between St. Johns and the flowering trees.”
POSTCRIPT: Eric Markham’s death reminds us of the drowning of Bradley Rudgers in Lake Riley at Cobb’s Hill — another seeming invisible man. The Cobb’s Hill tragedy of an “invisible man” ten years later