UPDATE: Autopsy pending for Macon police officer

pramati@macon.comJanuary 13, 2013 

An autopsy is expected first thing Monday after a police officer was found dead at the Macon Police Training Center on Jackson Street early Sunday evening, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

Lt. Mark Cotton, 49, a more than 27-year veteran of the force, served as director of the training center and as commander of the police SWAT team, Jones said.

Cotton's body was found at a doorway between two buildings, but Jones said there was no apparent cause of death.

Investigators have not given any indication they suspect foul play in Cotton's death.

Jones, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to give further details on the condition of Cotton's body. Jones said early Monday that he will ask that priority be given to this case when the GBI crime lab opens and the medical examiner begins autopsies from weekend cases.

A 911 call was made from the training center about the officer’s death at 5:30 p.m.

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert went to the scene, but declined to comment.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis, whose office will merge with the police next year, said he knew Cotton for several years.

“I knew him and his ex-wife,” Davis said. “This is kind of a shock right now. I’ve known him for years and years. He worked as a training officer, and his training people worked with our training people. ... (Law enforcement) is like a family. When something like this happens, we all come together.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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