A fisherman in Central Park thought he had hooked a fish — but when he reeled it in, what he caught was much more disturbing.
Luis Castoire cast his line out around 11 a.m. Thursday at the Harlem Meer, at the northeastern part of the park. As he brought it back in and it neared the surface, Castoire discovered that it was no fish at the end of his line, but rather a body.
"I thought I was seeing a ghost," Castoire told NBC New York. "I felt a thump, my hook had gotten stuck ... When I go to lift it, I seen the leg come up, and then I saw the rest of the body."
Castoire, who said he's been fishing in Central Park since he was 7 years old, said he had to look away from his frightening catch.
"It was devastating, really devastating. I couldn't believe it with my own eyes, I just couldn't," he said.
He and other fishermen quickly called police. The victim was determined to be a man in his 30's from Harlem, who had suffered some sort of head wound with blood near his body, but a cause of death had not yet been determined.
The crime scene was visible from the shorelines along the lake, and it came as a shock to those who visit the popular spot often.
"It was very quiet. I was sitting here, there are lots of sirens going on ... and it's very unexpected," said Kylie Debor, who lives in the area. "It's definitely upsetting, it's a tragedy for the family, for the person involved and for he neighborhood."
Castoire said he was still trying to process everything, and was unsure if he'd ever be able to come back to the place where he's spent many happy days relaxing.
"I don't think I could be able to come back to this park. This is like my backyard. I don't think personally I could come back to this park and be able to fish here, knowing that I hooked up into a body," Castoire said.
It marks the third time a body has been found in Central Park this month. A man in his 50's was found dead on the west side of the park last week, while another man was found floating in the pond near 59th Street on Sept. 7.