Body found in Raphael Park lake is that of Romford man in his 50s
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:11 12 June 2015
Police have said the body pulled from Raphael Park lake on Wednesday was that of a man in his 50s from Romford.
Residents of the streets surrounding the park expressed their shock after emergency services attended at about 6am.
Ernie Fillingham, 72, of Brockton Close, Romford, said: “I have lived here for about 20 years and walk over there nearly every other day and I have never seen anything untoward take place.
“This is usually such a peaceful place to live.”
The hordes of dog walkers and runners that use the park each morning arrived to find a community waking up to tragedy.
Emergency services, called to the Romford park at 5.54am, had erected investigation tents in the park, which was cordoned off for several hours while they carried out their work.
Dog walker Terry Marshall said: “You do get some night fishers hanging about late at night but nothing suspicious.”
Raphael Park, which has a restaurant, tennis courts and a playsite, is locked each night by Havering Council.
Speaking on Wednesday morning Jennifer Kane, 34, of Main Road, which borders the park, said: “I heard sirens when I got up this morning but didn’t think too much about where they were going to.
“It’s awful – that poor man’s family must be absolutely devastated.”
Sukhi Tukhar, owner of the Harefield Manor Hotel and Restaurant, also in Main Road, added: “Naturally I think that this will worry a lot of people and will have an effect on the community, especially since it happened in a public area where they take their little ones to.”
Other Havering residents took to social media to express their shock and send condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
In a typical Facebook post Carol Fleming said: “So sad, R.I.P. whoever he is. I feel for his family.”
Police have said the death is unexplained but not suspicious, inquiries continue.
Next of kin have been informed.