A body was pulled from the Chattahoochee River behind the Columbus Civic Center after a walker on the RiverWalk spotted it floating face down in the water, authorities said Saturday.
Sean Fuller , 42, of Columbus was pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m., said Deputy Coroner Charles Newton. His body will be transported to the crime lab in Decatur on Monday for an autopsy. He was wearing tennis shoes, dark jeans shorts and a pullover polo shirt.
Newton said the man had many tattoos and an injury to the back of his head, possibly from falling into the river. His body may have been in the water one or two days. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said tattoos and social media helped authorities to identify the man who had been homeless.
Police Lt. Matt Blackstock said a woman reported seeing a body in the water from the 14th Street Bridge about 11:38 a.m.. With no ID, police had very little to help identify the man. “We don’t know the cause of death,” he said.
The death remains under investigation. “We are still investigating it,” Blackstock said. “We still don’t know whether it’s foul play involved or not.”
There is no crime scene to check other than where the rescue squad from the Columbus Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services pulled the man out of the water. The rescue squad put boats in the water to get the body onto the bank along the RiverWalk.
With frequent rainfall for most of the week, the river was moving fast with debris from dead trees and other items floating down the river as water is released from dams upstream.
Police sealed off the Riverwalk behind the Civic Center and diverted all walkers and bicycle riders while the investigation was underway.
Authorities said many people were on the river swimming or on rubber tubes without lifejackets although the flotation devices are required between North Highlands Dam and the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.