The clothed body was discovered by a custodian behind a church wall 30 feet from the front steps of the building. Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau police spokesman, said the cause of death was not determined but, "We're looking into the possibility it may have been a suicide."
"We want to find out who he is," Repalone said, adding that no identification was found. The body was removed to the county Medical Examiner's Office in East Meadow at about 10:30 for a preliminary autopsy. Few other details were available.
Police said a 911 call reporting the discovery was placed at 6:57 a.m.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. A nun at the parish
administrative office who wouldn't give her name referred inquiries to police.
She said the parish would have no public comment.
The church is located on Broadway in Hicksville.
At the church Friday morning, more than a dozen Crime Scene Search Unit officers gathered evidence as plainclothes detectives tried to figure out the circumstances of the death.
The block on Broadway -- including the front entrance to the church grounds, its parish nursery-to-grade-eight school and the parish administrative offices -- remained cordoned off by yellow police tape.
Speeding motorists on busy Broadway slowed to gawk at the police activity at the church.
Schoolchildren continued to move about in the school building and on the grounds.