Originally created 05/26/98

Police try to identify man, find cause of death



Police hope to confirm a possible identity today for a man found dead in a bank parking lot late Sunday.

Investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff's Department also hope to pinpoint what killed the man, who was spotted lying face down in the parking lot behind a Gordon Highway bank by a customer using an automated teller machine.

He had blood on his face and head, and may have been beaten, although he might have received the injuries when he fell against the pavement, investigators said.

His unkempt, unshaven appearance have led police to believe he was homeless.

No identification or keys were found on his body, although a shopping cart full of plastic bags, aluminum cans and other bits of junk was beside him when he was found.

Blood still spotted the curb and the parking lot's asphalt surface Monday, and bruised grass marked the spot where the man fell against the curb behind First Union, 1751 Gordon Highway, near the fenced-in back yard of a Thomas Lane home.

A curve of copper tubing and a faded piece of torn fabric lay discarded nearby.

Police questioned several people Sunday night in connection with the death but later released them after determining they weren't suspects, Investigator Dewayne Piper said.

The man, who was white and appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s, had dark eyes, shoulder-length brown hair and a mustache.

He was wearing green pants, a predominantly red plaid shirt and a red baseball cap.

Anyone with information on his identity or the circumstances of his death can call police at 821-1080.