FAIRFIELD — Eric May grew up playing on the streets of Fairfield. Now, those same roads are his home.
The 54-year-old arrived Friday at Allan Witt Park before daybreak. His hands were cold. He had no gloves.
May had collected some wood and was going to start a fire in one of the barbecue pits. He said he spotted a Fairfield police car, dropped the wood and waited for the patrol car to pass.
Heading to the back of park, along the Woolner Avenue side, he said he saw what appeared to be a mannequin between some trees in the parking lot. He said he walked by it once.
Something told him to look again. As he drew nearer, May said he realized it was a body.
He said he shouted at it first, saying something like “Are you OK?” When that drew no response, he said he poked the body in the back with his index finger. There was no response. The body was cold and colorless.
“That’s why she didn’t look real,” May said.
May discovered the body of Fairfield’s second homicide victim of 2013, a young, Caucasian female. Suisun City police confirmed Friday that the victim was a teen girl reported missing Thursday from Suisun City.
“Nothing in life prepares you for something like this,” May said.
Now, he said, he shares his story as a way of helping him cope, and also so the young woman is not forgotten.
“I made her a promise,” May said. “Until my dying breath, I’m going to keep her memory alive.”
Since then, he said he’s lived on a few hours of sleep and spends some of his time at Allan Witt Park, hanging out with friends. He said he hopes for some peace.
May said police questioned him Friday and that he willingly submitted a DNA sample.
He pleads for the young woman’s killer to turn himself or herself in. He said he worries that whoever took the teen’s life may strike again.
A lot of questions run through his mind, he said, including what must have gone through the young girl’s mind the last few minutes of her life.
“I knew she had loved ones,” May said. “Everyone has loved ones.”
May said his spirit remains intact even though he has a heavy heart. To do otherwise would also make him a victim, he said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.