2 men froze to death in the last week in metro Atlanta, police say

Police in two counties have confirmed two people were found dead recently, their bodies frozen after the recent cold snap the area experienced.

The body of one man was found frozen at a MARTA bus stop in Clayton County.

The family of a 69-year-old man says his body was found frozen in the City of South Fulton.

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“He loved Michael Jackson music,” Greta Lewis told Channel 2′s Tom Jones about her cousin, J.C. Ellis.

Two things family and friends remember about Ellis are that he loved the King of Pop and followed his own rules.

“He lived his life the way he wanted to live it,” Lewis explained.

That meant sometimes living outdoors, even though he had loving family members who begged him to come inside.

Then on Jan. 18, police found Ellis’ body in an abandoned home with no electricity or running water.

Police say there were no signs of foul play.

“We believe he froze to death,” Lewis said.

Then, on the morning of Jan. 22nd, Clayton County police say they were called to a MARTA bus shelter in front of the Frank Bailey Senior Center on Riverdale Road.

That’s where they found a 48-year-old man dead.

His body was frozen.

Community advocate Drew Andrews was heartbroken by the news.

“I’m saddened for the death. I’m disappointed in the preparation,” he said, pointing to how county leaders prepared for the cold snap and opening warming centers.

Andrews had taken Jones around a week earlier where homeless men were sleeping at a bus shelter in frigid temperatures in front of Southern Regional Hospital.

The men said they didn’t have transportation to warming centers and were concerned since most of the warming centers closed at 9 p.m.

Andrews said this death should be a wake-up call, “We need to be intentional about preparing for the next cold spell.”

Lewis says something needs to be done to get vulnerable people out of dangerous weather, “We need all hands on deck.”


They both would like to see the county spend more resources like mental health specialists to convince people out on the street they have to come inside.

They want transportation to warming centers that stay open 24 hours.

One Clayton County Commissioner said he was looking into organizing a committee to look into this issue.

He said no one should lose their life because of hot or cold weather.

An autopsy will eventually determine how both men died.

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