0

Cause sought in death of 'homeless' man

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Authorities are working to determine the cause of death of a man who was found dead Sunday, on an embankment, near the Flint River in Jonesboro.

Clayton County Police responded to the scene around 5:30 p.m., Sunday, near a bridge off of Flint River Road, where a pedestrian reported discovering the body, according to a police report.

Robert Leroy Redeye, 54, who was homeless, according to the police report, was pronounced dead at the scene. "There was no blunt force trauma, so we don't think there was any foul play involved," said Lt. Tina Daniel, a spokesperson for the Clayton County Police Department

"The victim had been reported as a missing person approximately an hour and a half prior to my arrival ... due to the fact the victim never made it to work, and had not been seen since the previous day," police said in the incident report.

Redeye was employed by a local Waffle House restaurant, according to the report, which also said that police spoke to two witnesses at the restaurant, which is located at 8765 Tara Blvd.

"Witness # 1 advised she was dating the victim, and she last saw him ... when he was going to work," the report said.

"The victim [Redeye] and witness # 1 both live in the woods ... [on] Tara Blvd. Witness # 1 and witness # 2 both advised the victim had diabetes, which he took medication for, and that the victim had a very bad time trying to see at night," police said in the report.

Police said the body was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab for an autopsy. A GBI spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Samantha Short, a waitress at the Waffle House where Redeye reportedly worked, said by phone Monday, that no manager was available for comment. "I just recently came to this store. I worked with him," Short said. "He's been at this store for like five or six years. He seemed like a pretty nice guy," she said.

Short said Redeye worked as a cook at the restaurant. Short then handed the phone to a woman who identified herself as Martha Funk, a close friend of Redeye's. The police report identified witness # 1 as Martha Funk.

"We were close friends," said Funk, by phone. "He was quiet, reserved ... He was supposed to go off to work, and somehow, he wound up about a mile and a half away from work.

"The night they found him dead, we were supposed to move in with this other couple, because they had just got a two-bedroom duplex," Funk said.

Funk said she met Redeye about five months ago.