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Jul-10-2014 22:30printcommentsVideo

UPDATED: Police Identify Body Found in South Salem Park

This story has been updated with a statement from the family on 8/6/2014.

Woodmansee Park
Salem Police have identified the man found dead inside Woodmansee Park in south Salem on July 2. Photo Courtesy: City of Salem

(SALEM, Ore. ) - Salem Police have identified the man found dead inside Woodmansee Park in south Salem on July 2.

Salem Police spokesman Lt. Steve Birr says 27-year-old Andrew Betts, a transient, died from an accidental overdose of heroin. Police did find additional amounts of the drug on Betts after his death Birr said.

Betts was found in the parks popular 9-hole disc golf course on the evening of July 2.

Birr said the park is very safe for the public to use, and that this is a rare incident for this city park.

However, should you come across what you suspect to be used drug needles or syringes, you should contact the Salem Fire Department's non emergency line at 503-588-6245, so they can come out and dispose of them properly.

If you find drugs of any kind in a Salem city park, you should contact Salem police using the non emergency line at 503-588-6123, so they can come at remove the drugs safely.

UPDATE 8/6/2014: The family of 27-year-old Andrew Betts contacted today to let us know the following information. That "Andrew was dearly loved by his family who is deeply saddened by his sudden and unexpected passing."

Andrew was not a transient. He lived close by the place he was found with his partner, and mother of his 2-year old daughter. He frequently visited my home in Woodburn, and would stay for days at a time. We all thought Andrew was doing well. He had been clean for several months, and had started the long road to recovery.

We don't know why Andrew had relapsed, and chose Woodmansee Park that day to take what turned out to be his last dose of this evil drug. We tried to convince Andrew to check himself in to a residential treatment program on many occasions, but he thought he could beat the addiction by sheer force of will.

Andrew was also a hard worker I had recently spent a week with him remodeling my father's house in Southern Oregon. We had many long talks on the deck of my house. He had recently helped his mother with some projects at her home in Keizer and was in the process of earning back the trust and credibility he'd lost due to things he'd done to sustain his addiction.

I know that he knew we loved him. He was not a 'transient' or a statistic. He was our son.

From: Christopher P. Betts

Original Story:

Salem Police are on scene of a body found at a popular park in south Salem. was there at Woodmansee Park, located off Sunnyside Road, as police and detectives searched for clues as to what may have happened. The body was found in the parks popular 9-hole disc golf course, which is located in a heavily wooded area.

Police were not able to say if the body was that of a male or female, or if foul play was involved. Officers closed the course and the park while they investigate the death.

Woodmansee Park is a 29 acre park full of oak trees, has a stream running through the park, and a trail system throughout, and is a place many Salem families go to for picnic's and barbeques.

Police cordoned off one of the course holes as part of their investigation.

Police tell that at this early point in the investigation in appears this maybe a drug overdose, but have NOT confirmed that information yet.

No further information is available at this time. will have more on this story as soon as it becomes available.

Video by's Jerry Freeman



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