Daughter of deceased man found in Rochester speaks out

[anvplayer video=”5185815″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The body found in the early morning hours on Tuesday has been identified as 69-year-old Marvin Peterson.

Now, his daughter is speaking out about the kind of person her dad was while others in Rochester reflect on the second death in the homeless population in Rochester this summer.

Peterson’s daughter, Lisa Hill, says her dad’s favorite place was always in the sky.

Peterson used to be a balloonist and Hill says he’s been free-spirited his entire life.

“He was different and he was adventurous,” Hill said.

Bouncing from place to place, Peterson landed in Rochester for medical treatment.

Hill says that Peterson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had a quadruple bypass surgery. This winter, he broke his shoulder.

Between expensive medical bills, no job and no money for housing, Peterson lived inside a tent at Soldier’s Field Park in Rochester.

That’s where the Rochester Police Department found his body, still lying in his tent.

“He wasn’t on the streets for mental health reasons, you know, he was there to try to get help with his cancer and then hopefully come live with me,” Hill said.

Hill even bought a two-bedroom apartment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ready to bring her father home.

However on Tuesday, Hill received a phone call, one she was always afraid of.

“I’m thankful that they got a hold of me and it wasn’t like I never spoke to him again and never knew what happened to him,” Hill said.

People in the community are reeling, as Peterson marks the second death in Rochester’s homeless population this summer.

“It’s a tragedy its a loss to the community its a loss to a family that lost a loved one that died alone,” said Dan Fifield, co-owner of The Landing MN, a day center for homeless individuals in Rochester.

According to Fifield, the number of people receiving services at The Landing MN has more than doubled in just the last six months.

Gregory Hutton comes to The Landing MN frequently and says while he did not know Peterson personally, any loss in the community is felt deeply.

Hutton also says that many people do not understand how difficult being homeless can be.

“Just trying to stay alive actually, it’s really tough,” Hutton said. “You don’t know which way to go or which way to turn.”

Advocates for the homeless population say that the city and county need to do more to address the problem.

“We have a very large problem in Olmsted County in the City of Rochester with folks experiencing homelessness,” Fifield said. “We’re doing the best that we can and we need everybody to step up and help.”

For Hill’s father, it is too late. But, she says she does not want others to leave the world how he did.

“He was a good guy. There’s probably a lot of good guys that are homeless and they really, really need help,” Hill said.

Hill and her family are making the trip to Rochester on Friday to lay flowers at Soldier’s Field Park where Peterson died.

Meanwhile, advocates for the homeless population continue to fight for solutions to address the rising problem in Rochester.