AUSTIN (KXAN) - Police are investigating what they call a suspicious death Tuesday morning near the 200 block of West Cesar Chavez Street.
Officials said a homeless man was found dead inside a sleeping bag not far from the hike-and-bike Trail along Lady Bird Lake between Congress Avenue and Lavaca Street.
Police did not state how the unidentified man died, but said he appeared to have obvious trauma to his body.
A person biking discovered the body around 8:10 a.m.
"They found a male in a sleeping bag," said Senior Officer Veneza Bremner, "He appeared to be sleeping, then it was determined that he had some trauma to his body, and so it turned into a suspicious death."
The trail was closed between Congress Avenue and the First Street Bridge. Pedestrians were redirected to Cesar Chavez Street before entering the trail again for hours.
One lane of eastbound traffic on Cesar Chavez Street was also closed near the crime scene.
The APD's crime analyst reported Tuesday that 38 percent of crime in Downtown Austin so far this year involves the homeless—either as a victim or the aggressor.
In June, a homeless woman was found dead on a bench in Duncan Park near downtown. Police determined 34-year-old Valerie Godoy was beaten to death, and they've made no arrests in that murder.
Organizations like the Salvation Army say they're seeing a slightly greater demand for help for the homeless.
"We're seeing possibly a small influx, maybe a greater percentage, but it's always been there," said Randy Allen, communications director with the Salvation Army in downtown.
He says as they work to make progress in the homeless community, each person they help get back on his or her feet is one less who could be susceptible to crime.
"Our whole situation here is trying to get people from crisis—they're immersed in it—to self sufficiency. That's what it's all about," Allen said.
Police are asking anyone with any information on Tuesday's suspicious death to call 911, the Austin Police Department or Crime Stoppers.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.
Austin Police are looking for a missing woman.