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Coroner: Man found downtown died of head trauma


Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant



Nathan Gregory



A 32-year-old man found laying unconscious in an alley behind the Trotter Convention Center in downtown Columbus last week died of blunt force trauma to the head, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said Friday. 


Merchant said the autopsy findings were consistent with a fall. 


Cantrell Demario Clay of Columbus was pronounced dead Monday afternoon at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Merchant said Clay had been out with friends Friday night before being dropped off in the alley sometime between midnight and 1 a.m., where he sent a text message to the resident of a nearby apartment to be let inside the building. The resident saw the message at 6 a.m. and opened the door of the apartment to find Clay unresponsive on the stairs. Merchant said family members came by to pick Clay up and brought him back home for about 12 hours before taking him to Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle. He was later airlifted to Tupelo, where he was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.  


The Columbus Police Department continues to investigate. The department has not commented publicly on the case.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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