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Cyclist’s autopsy inconclusive, but scene could hold clues to ‘suspicious death’

A section of the shoulder was washed out where 56-year-old Rufus Jones of Perry was found dead on Nov. 29, 2016. The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cyclist's death.
A section of the shoulder was washed out where 56-year-old Rufus Jones of Perry was found dead on Nov. 29, 2016. The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cyclist's death. lfabian@macon.com

As Sabrina Riley prepares to bury her brother, no one has determined how Rufus Jones died.

The 56-year-old Perry man was found dead Tuesday, with his bicycle, down a flooded embankment in the 4600 block of Pio Nono Avenue.

That evening, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office labeled it a “suspicious death” after a passer-by found Jones unconscious in a puddle of water in a ditch off the side of the road.

Riley is not sure what happened to her brother, or if he was headed home at the time.

“Nobody will ever know. There are no cameras there,” Riley said Thursday.

The GBI medical examiner’s autopsy on Wednesday did not note a cause of death, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

“They are waiting for toxicology results and a review of all his medical records,” said Jones, who is not related to Rufus Jones.

The cyclist did sustain a broken neck, the coroner said.

“He was very healthy,” said Riley, who remembers when her brother was a star football player at Fort Valley State.

The Desert Storm veteran used his bicycle for transportation from “time to time,” she said.

Orange barrels now mark the spot on Pio Nono where his body was found.

A section of the dirt shoulder was washed away next to the pavement.

Riley wonders whether her brother didn’t notice the gap and tumbled off the side of the road, or if a vehicle sideswiped him on the edge of the busy thoroughfare.

“He was a sweet young man. He was an honorable veteran,” Riley said.

The sheriff’s investigation into his death remains open, according to a public affairs officer.

Anyone with information about his death is urged to call 478-751-7500.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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