UPDATE: Family, friends and community members are mourning the loss of a Conyers man who was found dead on the side of Interstate 20 in Atlanta on New Year's Day.
Russell TJ "Smoter" Sutton, Jr., a 26-year-old white male, was found around 9 a.m. near the guardrail of the on-ramp of I-20 westbound to Interstate 75/85 northbound. It appeared Sutton might have fallen down a steep embankment, possibly the Capital Avenue exit ramp.
According to Atlanta Police Officer Kim Jones, Sutton had been out with friends at the Graveyard Tavern in the East Atlanta Village area on New Year's Eve. After leaving the tavern around 1:30 a.m. in a vehicle, an arguement ensued. Sutton "exited the vehicle and state he would rather walk," according to Jones. The last contact with Sutton was around 4 a.m. via text message.
Family and friends looked for Sutton all morning and pulled over at the scene when they saw the ambulance.
An autopsy was completed Wednesday. No traumatic injury was apparent, and the cause of death is pending toxicology tests, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. The office is also investigating hypothermia as a possible cause.
Sutton was a 2005 graduate of Heritage High School and a 2007 graduate of the Georgia Military College. He worked for J&T Marble and Tile and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was also an active member of Glen Haven Baptist Church, where he was scheduled to take his second mission trip to Honduras at the end of January.
Sutton is survived by his parents Ginny Causey of Covington and Todd Sutton, Sr., of Conyers; brother, Tyler Sutton of Covington; grandparents Kathleen and Glenn Pearman of Conyers.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m., Jan. 4, at Glen Haven Baptist Church with Rev. Stan Berrong officiating. Interment will follow at Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, Covington. Visitation was held Friday, Jan. 3. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sutton's memory to Glen Haven Baptist Church, Team Impact, 345 East Lake Road, McDonough, GA 30252.
(Jan. 1, 4:47 p.m.) A Conyers man was found dead on the side of Interstate 20 in Atlanta around 9 a.m. on New Year's Day.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the body of Russell T. Sutton, Jr., a 26-year-old white male, was found on the on-ramp of I-20 westbound to Interstate 75/85 northbound
An autopsy was completed Wednesday. No traumatic injury was apparent, and the cause of death is pending toxicology tests.
Examiners are also investigating hypothermia as a possible cause. Sutton appeared to have been walking on I-20.
Check back later for more information.