A 61-year-old diabetic Dunedin man who died after a night lying ill on a park bench was wrongly mistaken as homeless or drunk, police believe.
Senior Constable Rob Murray said Donald James Caley died in Bayfield Park after a Delta crew raised the alarm about 7.30am yesterday.
He said Caley was still alive when police were called, but he died soon after paramedics arrived because of his medical condition.
Murray said Caley, a labourer, was dropped off in the area after work on Friday.
He said police believed Caley went shopping and then aimed to head home. Caley lived near Bayfield Park.
Murray said Caley was seen around the park over the weekend.
Someone noticed him lying in a sleeping position on the park bench beside a changing room and toilet block on Sunday afternoon.
''I think he's been mistaken for someone drinking or having a sleep-off. He wasn't in any obvious distress, so it didn't raise any alarms,'' Murray said.
''Some people would investigate and try to see if he was OK, and some people wouldn't.''
On Monday morning he was still there ''and the alarms go off'', Murray said.
He said Caley was barely alive when ambulance staff arrived, but died soon after.
The death was not suspicious, he said.
He urged anyone who saw a man in the park over the weekend to contact the Dunedin police on 03 471 4800.
- The Press
Would you consider using your retirement savings to buy a home?Related story: Retirement savings used for first home