ATLANTA – Police have released two incident reports in the death of a man found hanging from a tree at Piedmont Park early Thursday.
According to the initial police report, which was submitted on Thursday by Officer A. Conley, the responding officer said that a security guard found the man and called police.
When the officer arrived at the scene, he said it appeared that the man had hung himself with a white rope attached to a tree. The man had earbuds in his ear and a backpack around his waist.
“There did not appear to be a struggle or any foul play. The scene and the body seemed to coincide with a suicide,” the officer wrote.
The man appeared to be well-dressed and “clean cut”, the officer wrote.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene and confirmed that the man had passed away.
Investigators and the medical examiner arrived at the scene and determined that the death appeared consistent with suicide. The body was transferred to the medical examiner’s custody. Crime scene technicians said they were not able to locate the man’s identification card.
In another report, which was submitted on Friday, police provided more details into the investigation.
In this report, Sgt. R. Layton noted he was called to the scene to assist in the investigation.
Layton said that he and other detectives examined the area for evidence. This is how he described the scene:
The area was poorly lit and the ground was wet from recent rain. Walking up to the the listed victim was through wet grass to a large dirt area around a tree. Next to the tree was a large wheeled garbage can, green in color with a black top. The garbage can was making contact with the base of the tree and was 3/4 full of trash. The listed male did not appear to have any defensive injuries to his hands or body, and his clothing was intact and not disheveled. There were no markings to his wrist and his shoes were clean and had no marring to the sides or top. A backpack was hanging from the male and there was an earbud in one of his ears, leading to his waist area. The ground around the male was wet and if there had been a struggle there would have been disturbed dirt or shoe prints. The male had marks that would be consistent with climbing a tree to the front of his blue jeans, and had what appeared to be light pollen on the front of his shirt, again consistent with that of someone climbing a tree. I then examined the top of the garbage can and noted shoe prints were near the top edges of the can. The shoe prints appeared to be fresh and were the same pattern as the shoes the male was wearing (Converse Chuck Taylors). The body of the decedent was remove at the direction of the FCME, and his identity is unknown at this time. At this time the incident appears to be a suicide, but the final ruling will be made after autopsy. The scene was photographed by Atlanta Crime Scene Technicians. The investigation continues...
On Thursday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed released a statement on the death after significant skepticism was raised on social media. It read:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a young man’s life last night in Piedmont Park. This disturbing event demands our full attention. The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is conducting a robust investigation into his death and I have asked to receive regular briefings on the status of the investigation. We have also referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Everything we have seen suggests that there was no foul play involved, but I want to state clearly and unequivocally that we will not prejudge the circumstances surrounding this young man's death. APD will share all evidence discovered in the course of the investigation. We ask for the public’s support and cooperation as we work to resolve this matter."