Police: Man may have fallen to his death while stealing copper

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a man found dead at an inoperable fitness center in Jonesboro may have fallen to his death while trying to steal copper from the ceiling.

Jonesboro police found the man, believed to be around 40 years old, Wednesday afternoon at Hoops and Fitness on Tara Boulevard.

Police said their tip came from an inmate who was concerned about his friend who had been missing since Sunday. Police checked the former fitness center after the inmate said his friend was going to the building to steal copper.

Police said the ceiling is about 50 to 60 feet off the ground and "everything we're looking at right now indicates that he fell from about that height down onto bare concrete."

Police said since the business has attracted break-ins by vagrants and vandals since it closed more than two years ago. Currently, the building has an electrical generator to provide power for lights in a large, empty space.

"There's a few weights, weight equipment, and mostly trash and items vagrants and homeless people left inside," Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen told Channel 2's Jeff Dore. "We have indication he may have been up in the ceiling."

The chief also said it appeared the lock on the building had been broken.

The case is still under investigation.

Check back for updates on WSBTV.com and Channel 2 Action News.