Coroner seeks information on man found dead in woods of Athens park

Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said Wednesday he has been unable to locate any next of kin or personal background on a man found dead more than a week ago in the North Oconee River Park in Athens.

The man, identified as 61-year-old Harold Dean McCannon, was a homeless man known to live in Athens, but little else is known of his background, according to Wilson.

An employee with Athens-Clarke County was doing an inspection of property at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 22 in the park off Willow Street along the North Oconee River, when he observed a person on the ground . He said he couldn’t determine if the person was deceased or sleeping, according to an Athens-Clarke police report that was released Wednesday.

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A police officer who responded found the man face down on the ground near several large rocks. The officer reported finding a syringe in the man’s hand and directly behind him was a sleeping bag and backpack that Wilson said contained the man’s clothing and other items.

Wilson said that during his investigation he located a woman’s name that McCannon once listed as a personal contact. However, he has been unable to locate the woman at her last known address in Greenville, N.C. Wilson said he is hoping police there can locate the woman to see what connection she has to McCannon.

The body was sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but Wilson said he did not suspect foul play.

Wilson said it appears McCannon died several days before the body was found.

Anyone who may know something about McCannon is asked to contact Wilson at (706) 613-3999.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Coroner searches for relatives of homeless man found dead in Athens