Lanett police identify body found by construction workers in vacant lot

Local News

LANETT, Ala. (WRBL) – Lanett Police have released the name of a man found dead Monday morning at a vacant lot along 35th street and Phillips Road.  

Police say the body of 26-year-old Derek Grant Southern Jr. of Marietta, Georgia was discovered by construction workers who arrived at the lot to pick up heavy machinery for their work week. Workers called 911 after a grizzly discovery.

“Around 7:17 this morning Lanett Police Department responded to a white male lying in a vacant lot over here on 35th street,” said Lanett Investigator, Joshua Mitchell.

Investigators do not know why Southern was in the area. At this point in their investigation, Lanett Police can’t say if the suspect foul play, suicide or a possible overdose. Investigators will not comment on the condition of the body, saying an autopsy will reveal more information.

“At this point, the white man has been identified, we are going to get in touch with family and continue our investigation, and this person will be sent for an autopsy for a cause and manner of death,” said Mitchell.

A preliminary autopsy report should be back this week – and will hopefully shed some light on what led to this man’s death, and his body being found in a vacant lot.
If you have any information on why Southern may have been in the area or if you know him, please call Lanett Police at 334-644-2146.

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