Police find body in tow truck

NORCROSS - Police are investigating the death of a 47-year-old man whose body was found Wednesday morning in a tow truck - the second homicide of its kind in two weeks.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said police were notified Wednesday that a tow truck was parked on the side of Green Point Parkway in Norcross.

When officers arrived at the Norcross location shortly before 8 a.m., Moloney said they found the man alone in the truck, slumped over in the driver's seat.

Moloney said the man appeared to have been shot to death but said it is too early to tell what events led up to the man's death or how long the man had been in the truck. Ted Bailey, Office of the Medical Examiner chief forensic investigator, confirmed that the 47-year-old victim was shot.

Moloney said the vehicle was a business tow truck, but said he would not be releasing the company name associated with the wrecker until the man's identity is confirmed and his family is notified.

"We don't want to release that information until we are sure who he is," Moloney said.

Moloney said the truck did not appear to have been broken down and seemed to be without any blemishes, such as a cracked windshield or bullet markings. He said there was no shattered glass.

"There was nothing obvious (wrong with the vehicle)," Moloney said. "There was no flat tires or anything like that that I saw."

Although Moloney said investigators believe they have identified the man, they are waiting to release his name until his identity is confirmed and family has been notified.

The person found in the wrecker has so far been described as an adult black man, Moloney said.

An ID was found inside the vehicle with the man, but Moloney said he was unsure if the identification was a Georgia driver's license and did not know if the man is from the Gwinnett area. He said investigators continue to work to answer those questions.

Moloney said no weapons had been discovered in the truck or nearby as of press time Wednesday.

Police began investigating a similar homicide two weeks ago. Thirty-six-year-old Ricardo Omar Belle's body was discovered in a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo parked behind the Kohl's store at 2050 West Liddell Road in Duluth on April 24.

Moloney said although the incidents seem somewhat similar, there is no reason to believe the two deaths are connected. Moloney said the investigation behind Belle's death continues.

At this point, Moloney said investigators are not speculating on a motive behind the death of the man found Wednesday.