Missing Macon man found dead beside railroad tracks

Georgia Central Railway workers walking a stretch of track Wednesday found the body of a missing Macon man just before noon, authorities said.

Rudolph Cooper, 62, of St. Paul’s Apartments on Forsyth Street was found beside the tracks off Lower Poplar Street near the ConAgra Flour Milling Co., said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones and Macon police.

Police Capt. Jimmy Barbee said it’s hard to tell how Cooper died because of exposure to the weather, among other factors.

He appeared to have been dead for about two weeks, he said.

Barbee said workers inspect the track about once a month.

The case will be treated as if foul play is suspected until proven otherwise, he said.

“We treat all cases like this as foul play until the medical examiner tells us different,” Barbee said.

Jones said an autopsy began Wednesday, but it will continue today.

Cooper’s sister in Atlanta reported him missing March 20 after traveling to his apartment in Macon. He was last seen March 18, said Jami Gaudet, a police spokeswoman.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the police at 751-7500 or Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.