Burned body ID’d as Northampton man

  • Looking east toward the Connecticut River on Bridge Lane in Hatfield. Recorder file photo

For the Recorder
Friday, March 23, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — The man whose body was found burning in a field off Bridge Lane in Hatfield on the night of March 10 has been identified as Daniel Cruz, 44, of Northampton, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

The death is being investigated as a homicide by the State Police Detective Unit in the DA’s office, spokeswoman Mary Carey said in a statement.

Cruz died from gunshot wounds to the torso and neck, according to his death certificate. “Thermal injuries” are listed as other significant conditions contributing to his death but did not cause it, the certificate says.

Hatfield Police were called to the field off Bridge Lane at around 9:30 p.m. on March 10 for a reported fire. When officers arrived, they found a human body burning. Two days after the incident, the district attorney’s office announced that the body was a man.

Bridge Lane turns into a dirt road leading to the dike bordering the Connecticut River.

Multiple people outside of the South Street home listed as Cruz’s residence Friday morning declined to speak with the Gazette saying it was too soon to talk. The death certificate indicates that Cruz worked as a cook at a fast-food restaurant and was never married.