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Police investigating death at county sanctioned homeless camp

By Joe Johnson

Athens police said they were investigating the weekend death of a resident of the county sanctioned homeless encampment.

Keisha Jones, 45, was found unresponsive in her tent early Sunday morning by a Hill Street man who had gone to the Barber Street facility after receiving a text from Jones saying that her neighbors there were “peeping on her,” according to a police report.

When the man woke up later in the morning, he saw that Jones was unresponsive and so he called 911.

Jones was transported by ambulance to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased.

Jones’s male friend said that he did not observe her consume any drugs, but she might have due to the way in which she was behaving when he arrived at the encampment, the police report noted.

“There were not any obvious indications of foul play,” said police Lt. Shaun Barnett. “She was sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, so we are waiting for those results”

The 1st Step homeless camp is operated by the Athens Alliance Coalition, a local nonprofit organization that has a contract with the county.

AAC's stated mission for running the homeless facility is to work with mental health and substance abuse professionals as they seek to transition people into more permanent housing.

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