A body was discovered near a dumpster Thursday at the Southeast Athletic Complex on Hillvale Road, according to police.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Man’s burned body found near dumpster at DeKalb park

Police are investigating after maintenance workers found a burned body Thursday morning at a DeKalb County park. 

Around 7:30 a.m., the body of a 58-year-old man was discovered near a dumpster at the Southeast Athletic Complex on Hillvale Road near Lithonia, DeKalb police told AJC.com. The man’s name is not being released until his family is notified.

 

The maintenance workers told police the gates to the park were closed and tied with a chain when they arrived Thursday morning. The gates are not typically shut, they said.

The workers called 911 after spotting the body lying next to the dumpster in the back parking lot, near a soccer field. 

Homicide detectives are handling the investigation and are still trying to determine the manner of death. Police spokesman Sgt. J.D. Spencer said no other details were being released.

“It is still new in the investigation,” Spencer said from the scene. “Investigators are working to try to determine what happened and who, if anybody else, was involved.”

County workers closed the park to the public until police cleared the scene Thursday, a DeKalb County spokeswoman said. 

A neighbor said the Southeast Athletic Complex is an active ballpark and there are always kids around. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Melanie Moses has lived in the surrounding neighborhood for nearly 20 years and said she was shocked to learn about the discovery. Her backyard shares a treeline with the sports complex.

“There are kids that are around here,” she said. “This is a ballpark field ... it’s pretty active. It’s pretty scary hearing about something like this in your own backyard.”

According to the DeKalb County School District, the investigation did not affect operations at nearby Miller Grove High School.

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