Body Found Hanging Outside VFW Post In Winchester

(WINCHESTER, Ky.) -- A man hanged himself outside of a Veterans of Foreign Wars post early Wednesday morning, just hours after someone burned an American flag in the same place, Winchester police said.

Winchester Police Detective James Hall said he suspects the dead man burned the flag at about 11 p.m. Tuesday night before returning to hang himself. A passer-by found the man around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The man had not been identified Wednesday afternoon. He was dressed in a red pullover hooded jacket, blue jeans and white tennis shoes and had used the flagpole rope to hang himself, Hall said. Hall said the man's knees were touching the ground when authorities arrived at the scene.

Police said they found footprints on top of an old mailbox next to the flagpole. Investigators said the man may have climbed on the mailbox, put the flagpole rope around his neck and jumped off the mailbox.

The remnants of the burned flag were taken by police.

"There was no ID or anything on him," Hall said.

Hall said police are checking missing persons reports to see if the man can be identified.

"We don't know who he is," Clark County Coroner David Jacobs said.

Jacobs described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, but not carrying identification.

The body was sent to the state medical examiners office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)