This unidentified man, right, found the body of his friend, who is believed to be about 55 years old, in an abandoned auto repair shop that his friend was living in Thursday sometime before 4:20 p.m. Police had not identified the deceased man Thursday evening, saying they were looking for next of kin to notify first. There was no apparent evidence of foul play, but the case is still under investigation. (Feb. 14, 2013)
Albany Police Department officers identified a homeless man found dead Thursday as Ernest M. Cook, 55. Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler said there would be an autopsy to certify the manner of death. No foul play is suspected.
ALBANY, Ga. — The dispatch calls went out after 4:20 p.m. Thursday for a body at an abandoned auto-repair shop on Old Radium Springs Road and East Broad Avenue.
A man found his friend, a white male about 55 years old, dead in the neglected white brick building that he used as a home just before the dispatch calls went out, said Phyllis Banks, Albany Police Department spokeswoman.
Authorities withheld the deceased man's name until they could reach any next of kin they could find. The friend who discovered the body did not give his name.
"No foul play was suspected," Banks said. "He was probably living inside trying to keep warm."
Although police said there were no obvious signs of foul play, the police robbery homicide unit investigated the scene. Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler did not release a cause of death. He continued to examine the scene and body at 6:45 p.m. under portable lights provided by the Albany Fire Department.
Firefighters apparently responded first to the scene with arson investigator Sam Harris also taking part in the case. A Dougherty County EMS ambulance left about 4:30 p.m. from the building, located behind the Oglethorpe Boulevard Maryland Fried Chicken restaurant.