Dead man found in tree house
Officials say body was there a year before discovery
"Some 150 feet down a steep hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, on a makeshift home woven into the lower branches of a cypress tree, a man somehow met his end.
His skeletal remains were found April 20 by a hiker who strayed off Lands End trail on San Francisco's western edge to clean up trash.
The dead man apparently had been living on a platform he fashioned in the tree, about a half mile west of Eagle Point and not visible from the trail.
San Francisco medical examiner investigators retrieved the body the day it was found, using ropes to climb down to the platform, a 3 1/2-by-7-foot-long floor of branches intricately woven into the tree.
The body, investigators said Thursday, had been there for more than a year. Nearby were blankets, two backpacks with clothing items and an identification card . . .
Investigators said it appeared the man had made a life for himself overlooking the water and may have been living there for some time before he died. Why he died has not been determined.
A pair of work boots were found hanging in the tree. Two English-as-a-second-language books were discovered on the ground, apparently having fallen from the tree platform.
His skull was missing, though, possibly having fallen the 200 feet down to the rocks below. But some of the clothes he was wearing remained intact on his body.
. . . At what is now believed to be his last home, he took with him what looked like all his earthly possessions, investigators said. The platform included what appeared to be sun shades to prevent being blinded or being hit by wind.
"It's a beautiful view from there,'' said one of the investigators who found the body."