LENOX -- The body of an unknown man was found near railroad tracks here Sunday afternoon. If identification cards found in his possession are his, the victim is an out-of-state 53-year-old.
"Presuming he is who we think he is, he is not a local resident," said Capt. Colin Millison of the Cook County Sheriff's Department.
Millison said the man's body was found approximately one mile north of Lenox near the U.S. Highway 41 and Ed Lindsey Road intersection by members of a local family returning from church. The same family members had noticed something on the track's trusses on their way to church but dismissed it as a dead animal.
Members of the family had to wait for another train to pass before they walked up the track and approached the victim's body to discover it was human remains.
Millison suspects the victim was hitching a ride on the train.
"If he is this person, he does have a history of hitching rides on trains and has been caught doing this before," Millison said.
The man's remains have been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime laboratory where an autopsy and positive identification will be made. Authorities are not releasing his identity until family members can be notified of the death.
Millison said the man's death appears to be accidental and the autopsy should substantiate that fact.
"I don't know how long he had been there," said Millison. "He had been there a while and many trains run on that track."
Investigators with the Douglas GBI office are handling the investigation.
Kirk Gordon, Adel Police Chief and Cook County's assistant coroner, said Monday that he listed the cause of death as generalized trauma. He also ruled the death accidental.
Gordon said no train engineers or railroad companies have notified law enforcement of the accident. No charges against them will be filed.
"We are waiting to get a time estimate of his death if any way possible and then if the lab comes up with a time, we will go to the railroad and pull up what train was running through at that time," Gordon said. "We don't know if he was walking the track or fell off under one of the boxcars."
To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.