A murder investigation has been launched following the discovery of a man’s body in Hackenthorpe.
The body was found by a member of the public on the playing fields off Birley Spa Lane at around 6.30am today.
It is thought to be that of a man in his 30s and his family has been informed.
A cordon is in place around the whole area while detectives and forensic scientists investigate but it is thought the man had been the victim of an assault.
Police said a Home Office pathologist had been contacted and was due to attend the scene this morning.
Formal identification, and a post mortem examination to establish a cause of death, have not yet taken place.
Temporary Det Supt Phil Etheridge, who is leading the investigation, said he urgently needed to hear from anyone who was in the area last night, or in the early hours of this morning, and who may have seen something that they believe was suspicious.
He said: “I am satisfied from the evidence of the scene that this man has died in suspicious circumstances and he may have been the victim of an assault.
“The area where the body has been found is highly populated and it is possible that someone may have seen something that could prove vital to our inquiry.
“I would urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they think it is, to call police immediately.”
The area around Rainbow Forge School has been cordoned off but the school remains open as usual.
One eye witness told The Star: “The whole area is taped off and there is a police officer standing guard.
“There was an ambulance and a fast response vehicle parked at the scene. Forensics officers in white suits were combing the area.”
Another said: “It’s just a bit of a shock. We heard some sirens first thing this morning. All the police cars were here and the forensics with the white suits and their hoods up. There were police cars coming and going all morning.”
Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 149 of December 17.