Police: Foul play suspected after woman found dead under bridge in downtown Atlanta

Atlanta police reported a body found under the I-20 bridge Thursday. (STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

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Atlanta police reported a body found under the I-20 bridge Thursday. (STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Atlanta police are investigating after a 43-year-old woman was found dead under an interstate bridge in the city’s downtown.

The victim was discovered about 9 a.m. Thursday near the entrance to I-20 East at Pryor Street, police confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The scene is one block from the Gateway Center, an organization that serves the homeless.

Police are investigating the fatal discovery as a possible homicide, according to Lt. Ralph Woolfolk, the Atlanta Police Department’s homicide commander.

“It does appear to be foul play involved,” he said at the scene Thursday afternoon. “We are assessing all possibilities and any eventuality as it pertains to a homicide at this point.”

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Atlanta is on the cusp of surpassing last year’s historically high homicide count, a year in which the city saw a 58% surge in its tally of homicides and recorded more violent deaths than Atlanta has seen in decades. If Thursday’s incident proves to be a homicide, it will mark the 156th investigated so far this year, according to APD statistics. Authorities investigated 157 homicide cases in 2020, the most since 1996.

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An Atlanta Police car near the scene of a reported body found under the I-20 bridge Thursday. (STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

An Atlanta Police car near the scene of a reported body found under the I-20 bridge Thursday. (STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

caption arrowCaption
An Atlanta Police car near the scene of a reported body found under the I-20 bridge Thursday. (STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Detectives were on scene canvassing the area, talking to witnesses and working to corroborate statements officers have taken. Woolfolk said detectives have recovered items of evidentiary value that can aid in the investigation.

“We are in the preliminary stages of our investigation, and detectives are working diligently to try to ascertain details of what happened here,” he told reporters.