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Ledyard — A 40-year-old Groton man was found dead early Saturday, face down in a former horse field on Shewville Road.
Anthony Hamlin of 34 Atlanta Court died from trauma to the head, according to the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner's office Sunday. State police have ruled Hamlin's death a homicide and are investigating the incident.
At Hamlin's house Sunday night, his cousin, Reggie King, described Hamlin as a laid-back guy and kind father of five children.
“He was just a nice guy. It's a shame that someone would take a father from five kids,” King said.
King did not know when Hamlin, a construction apprentice, disappeared or why someone would have killed him.
“It's all a mystery to all of us at this time,” he said.
Sunday night, a fog had enveloped most of the former horse field where Hamlin's naked body was found shortly after 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Shewville Road, a back road used by many as a short cut to Foxwoods Resort Casino, was calm compared to the flurry of activity the day before.
Gary Campbell Sr. was taking his father-in-law out to breakfast Saturday morning when he noticed a van had pulled into an opening that leads into the field next to his house. The property at 448 Shewville Road is owned by his mother so he went down to investigate why the family of four had parked on her property.
As Campbell got closer a woman motioned to him that a body was in the field. A man was in the van on his cell phone. He had already called 911, Campbell said.
Before police arrived Campbell walked to within eight feet of Hamlin hoping that the body was not someone he knew.
Five to 10 minutes later the first Ledyard police officer arrived, he said. Then a second officer pulled into the field and within the hour more than one dozen emergency personnel, including the Eastern District Major Crime Squad and the state police helicopter, were at the scene.
Shewville Road, a country road lined with stone walls and horse pastures, was closed from Gallup Hill Road to the Morgan family farm. Campbell's house, where he has lived since he was a child, was now next to a crime scene.
“I went back into the house to tell my wife we weren't going anywhere for a little bit,” Campbell said Sunday night.
Neither Campbell nor his wife, Marie Campbell, heard or saw anything unusual Friday night or earlier Saturday. A barn obstructs their view of the field.
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