DeKalb County

Death of beloved fixture at Tucker HS sports games ruled accidental, family says

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The death of a DeKalb County man with special needs whose body was found Saturday has been ruled accidental, according to his family.

James King, 57, known as “Coach Bud,” was last seen leaving an Applebee’s on Lawrenceville Highway around 10 p.m.

DeKalb police say they found a body in the woods near a creek along Mariners Court just before 2 p.m.

King’s family was on the scene with police and told them he was the victim.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

The family announced Monday that King’s death has been ruled accidental after an autopsy by the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office.

There are no words to express our tremendous grief and sadness of this devastating news,” the family said. “Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We will provide an update when we know more information about the memorial service.”

King has been a longtime fixture of Tucker High School sports and was at the school’s basketball game earlier in the night before he disappeared.

“Bud has mental disabilities, does not own or operate a vehicle, no credit cards to check for any purchases to identify any normal activity, rides Marta buses to go to Tucker each day and back to his family home in Decatur,” his family wrote in a GoFundMe set up to help fund the search.


Community members filled social media with posts about “Coach Bud.”

“He is from Tucker and has been Tucker High School’s biggest fan forever. I went to Tucker High and he was at every sporting event. He’s known and loved by all,” one Facebook user wrote.

The family has started a GoFundMe campaign here. The campaign has now raised more than $11,000, which will now go to his funeral.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]