Cops: Body was homeless man who picked up golf balls

The tale of the body found in Darby Creek is a bit sadder than I could get in to with the brief I wrote for today's Daily News.

The body, that of a man in his 40s, was found face down and fully clothed in the creek along Victory Avenue in Upper Darby around 2 p.m. yesterday.  

He's believed to be a homeless man who made his living walking through Cobb's Creek Golf Club picking up unwanted stray golf balls and selling them, said Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

This is a guy who, when he was down on hard times, didn't resort to selling drugs or stealing. He picked up what others considered trash, or at least what they considered meaningless, and he sold it to get by.

Police haven't released his name yet, because they can't find his family to tell them first. The man lived in one of three or four homeless encampments between the golf course and Victory Avenue, Chitwood said. He estimated there are anywhere from 10 to 15 people in the encampments, with more in the summertime.

The other homeless members of the camp told police the man left three weeks ago without taking any of his medication with him and said he was going to try to make his way to Florida.

He didn't even make it past Darby Creek.

Chitwood said there were no signs of trauma to the man's body but police must await autopsy results from the Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death. The man does appear to have been in the creek for some time, because algae had formed around the body, according to police.