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updated: 6/19/2014 5:13 PM

Authorities investigating body of man found in preserve

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Authorities are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Wednesday evening in a wooded area along the Des Plaines River at the Lake Carina Forest Preserve near Gurnee.

The decomposed body was discovered about 7:45 p.m. near a tree along the river bank by a geocacher looking for a hidden item using GPS coordinates, according to John Tannahill, chief of the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Ranger Police.

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"It was just by coincidence," Tannahill said of the find south of I-94. The geocacher tracked the coordinates of a small plastic box that had been placed in the tree earlier this spring.

Tannahill said the body was that of a man who apparently died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was found near the body, Tannahill added. An identification is pending.

"The body actually was right next to a tree right on the (river) bank," he said. "Because of the condition of the body, the coroner will have to compare dental records." He could not estimate how long the body had been there.

Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd was not immediately available for comment.

Geocaching is an activity in which people using GPS coordinates posted on a website find hidden objects.

"It's like a high-tech game of hide and seek," Tannahill said. The person who found the body was the first to find the plastic box and immediately called police, he added.

Lake Carina is east of Milwaukee Avenue and southwest of I-94 along the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway. A trail encircles the 53-acre lake and there are woods on the east side between the river and trail.

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