NORCROSS - Investigators are trying to determine how a man's body ended up in the parking lot behind a Norcross building.
Police said someone walking through the parking lot behind the building, which formerly housed Stone Construction Co., located at 5981 Live Oak Parkway, discovered the decomposing body about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Gwinnett County Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said the partially clothed body appeared to be a Hispanic or white man, but only further investigation can confirm the man's identity.
"Right now, we're calling this a suspicious death and treating this as a homicide at this point," Spellman said.
Spellman said specifics on who discovered the body and if that person is considered a suspect were unavailable.
Investigators were unsure how long the man had been behind the building before his body was discovered. Spellman said early stages of decomposition had begun and that high temperatures and weather have to be taken into account to determine when the man died.
"It will be up to the medical examiner's investigation to determine the cause of death," Spellman said. Depending on the medical examiner's caseload, it could take weeks to determine the man's identity, Spellman said.
Upon searching the area, Spellman said, investigators discovered a vent had been pried open on the outside of the vacant building where the man was found - evidence of a possible attempted burglary. She said it is unknown if the tampering and the death are connected.
According to employees working at nearby businesses, the building in question had been empty for about six to eight months.
Michael McArthur, operations manager for Cornerstone Security, said his company has been housed in the office building adjacent to the vacant building for more than a year. He said he has never seen anything suspicious.
"We have trucks that go back there (in the parking lot), but they've never said they've seen anything," McArthur said. "For the most part it's quiet here."
He said his company has never had any problems with vagrants or suspicious people in the area.