UPDATE: Police confirm identity of man found dead at Soldiers Field

(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE 7/19/2023: The Rochester Police Department (RPD) on Wednesday morning confirmed the identity of a man found dead at Soldiers Field Park on Tuesday morning as 69-year-old, Marvin Peterson.

RPD said the cause of death is unknown until an autopsy is completed.

A family member of Peterson confirmed his identity to ABC 6 News on Tuesday evening.


(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: The family of a man found dead in a tent at Soldiers Field Park Tuesday morning identified him as 69-year-old, Marvin Peterson.

According to his daughter, Lisa Hill, Peterson was battling several health conditions recently, including thyroid cancer. He was originally from the Twin Cities but came to Rochester to seek medical treatment. Without a job and money for housing, he ended up on the streets.

“He wasn’t a bad person. He would never hurt anyone,” Hill said.

The Rochester Police Department was notified of an unresponsive man near the entrance to Soldiers Field around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Hill was contacted by the medical examiner’s office later that morning.

“They said it could have been drug-related because they found some paraphernalia, like tinfoil, but I never knew my dad to use drugs,” Hill said.

Hill said her father’s brother recently passed away and she was one of the only family members he had left. She was planning to come pick him up and bring him to South Dakota where she lives, but never got the chance. She said she last spoke to her dad sometime last week and the two had an argument. She wishes their last conversation didn’t end like that.

“He had his struggles, but he did a lot of good in life too. He flew hot air balloons. He taught people about that,” Hill said.

The Rochester Police Department on Wednesday morning confirmed Peterson’s identity.

Hill said she wanted people to know who it was so her dad wasn’t only remembered as some homeless guy.

“He was much more than that,” she said.

Hill plans to visit Rochester in the coming weeks and place flowers where her dad was found.

“I think that would be nice,” she said.


(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Police Department is searching for answers after finding a man dead in Soldiers Field Park.

RPD received a tip after 3 a.m. today about an unresponsive homeless man located inside a tent among the trees near the entrance of the park.

Nearby residents said the discovery is concerning.

“It is concerning, I work with a lot of kids here at our church and I worry for people’s safety sometimes,” Zumbro Lutheran Church children’s minister Janette Davis said.

RPD is working with the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office to identify the
man and determine the cause of death.

There is no danger to the public.