Columbus police are conducting a homicide investigation after the body of 57-year-old David Rutherford was found in a parking lot behind Greater Ward Chapel AME Church on Talbotton Road late Wednesday afternoon.
"It is definitely a homicide," Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.
Bryan and police officers would not give any further details, including the cause of death.
"The body is being sent to the crime lab in Atlanta," Bryan said.
Bryan pronounced Rutherford dead at 5:45 p.m. but said the body was discovered before EMS received a call around 5:25 p.m.
Wednesday evening police officers were investigating the area where the body was found and where Rutherford lived on 28th Street. The house is not far from the church.
Marvin Rutherford, the victim's cousin, said he was "shocked" when he heard about the death. He gave no other details about the victim.