Nicollet Island death ruled a murder

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November 26, 2002 // UPDATED 1:33 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Kevin Featherly
Kevin Featherly

The death of a 50-year-old man found near railroad tracks on Nicollet Island has been ruled a homicide.

The man, identified as Timothy G. Benton, sustained unspecified head injuries, according to Minneapolis Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington.

A railroad worker discovered the man's body at about 4 a.m. Dec. 3, beside railroad tracks near the intersection of Grove Street and Nicollet Street, northwest of De La Salle High School.

"He was found underneath a bridge off the side of the tracks," Barrington said. "The conductor saw him, then called Burlington Northern police, who then called Minneapolis police. ...

Obviously, he was DOA [dead on arrival]."

Barrington said the area is a place where vagrants are known to congregate.

She said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office ruled the death a murder on Dec. 4. The city's homicide unit is investigating the case.

Barrington said the victim was 50 years old and a white male. Police said Benton, also known as James M. Brown, had no permanent address.