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Police: burning body found in Selkirk ruled a suicide

Bethlehem Police said the badly burned body found in Selkirk yesterday was that of 39-year-old Michael Freeman of Menands and they have officially ruled the case a suicide today (Wednesday, Nov. 5).

Deputy Chief Tim Beebe said foul play has been ruled out but would not comment if a suicide note was found at the scene or not.

We're not releasing that kind of information, he said. "It's been ruled a suicide."

An autopsy was performed today, which revealed that Freeman's cause death was cause by asphyxiation. His burning body was found in the middle of the intersection of Winnie Road and Cedar drive near the Henry Hudson Park in Selkirk.

Beebe said a woman called police on her cell phone reporting that a mannequin was on fire in the middle of intersection of, but discovered that it was the body of a 40-year-old man.

He said they got the call around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

"We got the call from a cell phone from a women reporting what could be a body or a mannequin," Beebe said. "It was a body."

He added that the body was found in the middle of the road and was still on fire when emergency crews arrived on the scene. Detectives determined that the accelerant used to burn Freeman's body was gasoline.

"He was right in the roadway," said Beebe. "He did it in the middle of the road."

Beebe said that the Selkirk Fire Department, Bethlehem Police, State Police, and the Albany County Paramedics responded to the scene.

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