Columbia Police have now arrested a second man as they continue their investigation into the homicide of homeless man whose body was found in a city park pond Sunday morning.
41-year-old Lawrence Stevens is charged with providing false information to police and for “urban camping.” Investigators say Stevens had been living in a homeless camp near South East Park on the edge of Columbia. Police would not give any further details other than to say the investigation is ongoing.
Two people walking in the park on Hazelwood Road called 911 at about 10 a.m. Sunday after discovering the body. Investigators say the body had noticeable signs of injuries. The victim’s name and his cause of death has still not yet been released, although a Columbia Police spokeswoman said an officer responding to the scene recognized him as also living in the nearby camp.
At the time, 44-year-old Peter Chalers was arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact of Murder. Stevens was also questioned by officers, but was not arrested until Monday.
Officials still have not said how or if Chalers and Stevens knew the dead man. But Police Chief Randy Scott said investigators believe it was an isolated incident and that the park is safe.