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Body found in Norcross identified as Hampton man
Police say death looks accidental

NORCROSS - Investigators have identified a body found Tuesday behind a vacant Norcross building as a 23-year-old man from Hampton.

Francisco Cruz Gutierrez was found Tuesday morning behind a building at 5981 Live Oak Parkway that formerly housed Stone Construction Co.

Police said a passerby walking through a parking lot behind the building discovered the man's decomposing body.

Hampton is located south of Atlanta, 50 miles from where Gutierrez's body was found in Norcross.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said "substantial evidence" indicates that Gutierrez's death may have been accidental. She could not offer further details, as the investigation is active, she said.

Police have not dismissed the chance that Gutierrez was murdered and have ruled the case a suspicious death at this point, Spellman said.

Investigators are unsure how long Gutierrez had been behind the building before his body was discovered. Early stages of decomposition had begun, said Spellman, and high temperatures and muggy weather will be considered in determining when the man died.

A medical examiner will determine the cause of death, Spellman said.

Upon searching the area Tuesday, investigators discovered a vent had been pried open on the exterior of the building where Gutierrez was found. That could be evidence of an attempted burglary, but investigators have yet to link that evidence to Gutierrez's death, Spellman said.

According to employees working at nearby businesses, the building in question had been empty for about six to eight months.