Anchorage police have named the man found dead near the Alaska Zoo earlier this week, saying the zoo employee's death is now being investigated as a homicide.

Michael R. Greco, 45, was the man found dead Monday in the zoo’s parking lot, police said Wednesday. The zoo initially said his death was not caused by any of its animals.

“Greco died as a result of trauma to the body and his death is now being investigated as a homicide,” police wrote. “The type and cause of trauma is part of the investigation and will not be released at this time.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a statement from the zoo identified Greco as the facility's head gardener, who had worked there since March 2014.

“The entire Alaska Zoo team was devastated when the Anchorage Police Department informed us that the deceased was [Greco]," zoo officials wrote. "Michael will be remembered for his enthusiastic attitude and the passion he put into such beloved annual events such as Zoo Lights, for which he created many displays. The Alaska Zoo will continue to work with police as they investigate his death.”

Anyone with information or surveillance video pertaining to Greco’s death is asked to call APD at 311, or contact Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or through its website.

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