SEATTLE - Homicide detectives were investigating a homicide in South Park early Sunday.
Officers and fire department personnel found a man lying on the ground in Duwamish Waterway Park, in the 7900 block of 10th Avenue South, at approximately 1:23 a.m.
The man appeared to have several stab wounds to his torso. Fire department medics declared him dead at the scene.
The man's father and uncle identified him to KIRO 7 reporter Natasha Chen as Ray Paul Jr., 23. They said that he once attended Chief Sealth High School and was homeless at the time of his death.
Ronald Paul, his uncle, said that his nephew was at a party earlier Saturday night, then returned to his campsite at Duwamish Waterway Park before he was supposed to meet up with his girlfriend again.
"He never showed up, so she came looking for him. She came to the park, she saw the ambulance, and the lights. And as she approached, she recognized it was him," Paul said.
His uncle said that he often offered "Little Ray" a place to stay, but he said his nephew never wanted to be a burden.
"In some ways, I feel a little bit guilty, maybe that I could have done something more, offered more," he said.
Paul added that this park is not known for violence, but young people do gather at the location sometimes to drink.
Sunday morning, neighbors were seen walking their dogs and taking their children to the same spot.
Friends of the victim said they just saw him last night when he visited their home a few blocks away.
"He's not a gangster, he doesn't have expensive anything. Why would somebody do that? That's horrible," said one friend, who said her first name is Lala.
She described him as friendly and respectful.
Ray Paul Jr.'s father, Ray Paul Sr., told KIRO 7 that someone who was parked on the street saw his son and called 911. He said that he was told no one else was around when his son was found on the ground.
Ray Paul Sr. said he and his son had their disagreements, but he always knew where his son was staying.
The victim also has a mother and sister who live in Louisiana.
Police said that a suspect or suspects in Paul's death remain at large. They asked anyone with information about the incident to call 911 or the Seattle Police Homicide Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.