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A police car parked on College Avenue in Athens, Georgia on Thursday, October 3, 2019. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach)

According to reports from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, the agency performed eight death investigations between Aug. 12 and Aug. 23.

Public Information Officer Lt. Shaun Barnett said in an email to The Red & Black that ACCPD is not experiencing any unusual uptick in deaths that are criminal in nature, and the vast majority of deaths that ACCPD responds to are not criminal. He said officers respond to any death that occurs outside of a physician’s or hospice’s care.

Woman found dead in North Oconee River

The naked body of a woman was found lodged on a downed tree in the North Oconee River around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, according to a report. Police were initially unable to identify the woman, but according to a Thursday press release, she has been identified as Tracey Brenning, 31, of Athens.

The press release notes that there were no obvious signs of foul play, but the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Michael McCauley at 762-400-7061 or michael.mccauley@accgov.com.

UGA bus driver found dead

University of Georgia bus driver Enoch Rodriguez, 52, was found dead in a home on Danielsville Road on Aug. 23 after his friend from church was unable to reach him, according to a report.

Police had to break the window to make entry to the home, where they found Rodriguez in bed unresponsive. He did not have a pulse, according to the report.

Rodriguez had worked for UGA for over 10 years. 

Man found dead behind Sunny Beauty Supply

Police found a 40-year-old Athens man dead behind Sunny Beauty Supply on Lexington Road around 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 15, according to a report.

Video footage showed the man arrive behind the store around 2:40 a.m., and then five minutes later he “touch[ed] his nose and fell to the ground,” according to the report. Police found an open pint of vodka, a glass pipe and bags of what they believed to be drugs among the man’s belongings.

Police found a piece of paper with a vulgar message written on it near the man. Video footage showed another man in a minivan drive up to where the deceased was, look out at the body and toss the paper before leaving. The driver did not call to report the deceased man, according to the report.

A press release from ACCPD regarding the incident noted that they do not believe the death was suspicious or criminal in nature.

66-year-old woman found dead after grandson is unable to wake her

Police found a 66-year-old Athens woman dead in the Howard Johnson hotel on West Broad Street after her 14-year-old grandson told a front desk employee that he was unable to wake her, according to a report.

A coroner contacted a funeral home to transport the woman’s body, and another person arrived to pick up the woman’s grandson.

The remaining four recent investigations involved people dying in their homes.

Jake Drukman is The Red & Black's news editor, and has worked for the paper since 2019. He is a senior journalism major with a minor in criminal justice. He especially enjoys covering local politics and crime.

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