Police still searching for leads in death of Macon man
A 51-year-old Macon man died Thursday at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, five days after he was found unconscious and bleeding on the 3200 block of Vineville Avenue. Police still have no leads.
Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says the unofficial cause of death of the victim, Albert Jelks, is blunt force trauma.
"If something like that can happen right next to me, where I work, it's kind of creepy and scary, it's a little scary," said 19-year-old Joshua Walker who works for the Southern Precious Metals Exchange, across the street from the plaza where Jelks was found.
Jelks was found by a business owner around 7:30 a.m. Saturday outside the Sleep Shop. He was laying on a walkway, breathing, but bleeding from the head and unconscious.
The property manager of the business plaza says Jelks worked at the Sleep Shop, and he may have been using the businesses computers to sell baseball cards after working hours.
"It's a very easygoing neighborhood and to hear of such a thing about the poor man getting mugged, it's, I mean, you expect something like that in Atlanta, but not here," said 54-year-old Jerry Collins, who says he didn't know Jelks, but lives nearby and walks his dog through the area often.
While police have no suspects, Collins and some business owners working in the plaza say the culprits were likely from Payne City, a small autonomous town completely surrounded by Macon, but policed by the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.
Business owners say Payne City begins right on the other side of train tracks adjacent to the business plaza, and many people walk from Freedom Park in Payne City across the tracks to a convenience store on Vineville Avenue.
"It's a little rough in the park, Freedom Park in Payne City after dark ... folks just trying to get by, but there's always an element of guys a little too full of themselves, trying to make things the easy way," Collins said.
While Collins and Walker, who waives a sign on the street, say they aren't afraid of the area, both say they sometimes come across people who make them a bit fearful for their safety.
"I try to speak to them so I get that kind of friendly thing going on, so no one would really want to harm me or anything," Walker said.
"My son is eighteen, so I think if I have to go after dark, I'm going to take him with me, and well, he's been studying martial arts," said Collins.
Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Macon Police Department at (478) 750-7500 or Cimestoppers at 1-(877)-68-CRIME.