The man found dead in a tent in Pioneer Park, prompting Salt Lake City police to force the removal of Occupy SLC protesters, has been identified as Michael Manhard, 42.
Police have said Manhard appeared to have died from a combination of drug use and carbon monoxide poisoning. A propane heater was found inside Manhard's tent Friday morning.
Court records indicate Manhard was chronically homeless. He had felony convictions for drug offenses, theft and attempted burglary and served time in Utah State Prison. He also had misdemeanor convictions for violating Salt Lake City park curfews, and at the time of this death had a pending case alleging he failed to pay a fare on a Utah Transit Authority bus or train.
Hours after Manhard's body was discovered, Salt Lake City police Chief Chris Burbank announced the ordinance against camping would be enforced and the camp had to close due to dangers from the weather and unsanitary conditions. Just after dusk Saturday, police moved in and arrested 18 people who refused to leave or committed other offenses. Another person was cited and released.
Occupy SLC members have complained the city used Manhard's death as a pretense to close the camp and pointed out that more than 50 homeless people died in Salt Lake City last year with no response from the city.
O Occupy SLC has produced a video remembering Michael Manhard. > sltrib.com