The body of a man believed to be a transient was found near the main entrance of the Echo Park United Methodist Church this morning. The man died from apparent natural causes and no foul play is suspected, said Sgt. Robert Alaniz with the Northeast Division. Alaniz had no further details about the man. Police were outside the church, located at the corner of Alvarado and Reservoir streets, when staff arrived to prepare for the 10:30 a.m service, said church administrator Danny Bernabe. Parishioners had to enter through a side entrance because police blocked the sidewalk and front steps with yellow tape. The coroner and the police remained outside the church until nearly the end of the morning service. “We prayed for him,” Bernabe said.
Homeless men and women frequently sleep on the sidewalk and the steps of the church, Bernanbe said. But none of the church staff or parishioners knew the identity of the man, he said.