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Car stolen from Athens motel as owner lay deceased in room

By Joe Johnson

Police are investigating the death of a man whose car was stolen from a motel in Athens while he lay dead in one of the rooms.

The body of the 61-year-old man was found Wednesday afternoon in a room he had rented at the Howard Johnson on West Broad Street.

Police said a housekeeper let herself in after the man missed his 11 a.m. checkout time and found him lying partially on a bed.

A police report does not indicate any suspicions that foul play was involved with the death, but notes that evidence of drug and alcohol use was in the room. A small amount of white foam was on the man’s lip.

“There was a pillow perfectly placed under the victim, even though it appears as though he was sitting up at the time of death,” the police report noted.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death was to be conducted at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s forensic laboratory in Decatur.

The only personal belongings that police found in the room included pipes for smoking drugs, shoes, and eyeglasses.

The man’s car was was gone from the parking lot, police said, and his keys, wallet and cellphone were missing.

The car was said to be a black 2019 Toyota Camry displaying Georgia tag CMC7653.

Police said they listed the car as stolen with the Georgia Crime Information Center.

The names of three people, including the deceased, were registered to the room, according to police, and hair care products in the trash and a long lock of hair on the bed suggested that a woman had been staying with the victim.

The police report listed the man’s home as being in Madison County, but the profile of his Facebook page indicated that had originally been from Colbert and was currently living in Athens.

Many of his Athens friends have posted messages of mourning on the Facebook page.

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Another loss of a fine upstanding law abiding pillar of the ACC community. Yes...he'll be missed

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