By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Body found at cemetery identified as Hispanic man
Placeholder Image

A Hispanic man in his early fifties was found dead Saturday afternoon at Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville.

The body of Jose Umana Garmendez, 53, was discovered among the graves by a visitor who was walking through the cemetery grounds, said Kevin Holbrook, public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department.

The visitor called 911, and the police department received the call at 12:05 p.m., Holbrook said.

The body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in DeKalb County.

An autopsy was conducted Monday, and Garmendez’s family was notified.

Examiners did not find evidence of foul play, and there was no evidence of trauma on the body, Holbrook said.

Garmendez was from Gainesville, he added.

“At this time, all indications do appear that he did die of natural causes,” he said.

A cause of death will not be determined until a toxicology test can be performed, Holbrook said.

“It will be some weeks before the actual toxicology tests do come back,” he said.

Examiners also believe that Garmendez died inside the cemetery, and that his body was not discovered for some time after his death.

Holbrook added high summer temperatures make it more difficult to determine the exact date or time of death.

“Unfortunately, with the heat index, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time. It appears that he was there for at least a day or so,” Holbrook said.

It also appears that Garmendez was alone at the time of his death, he added.

Though it appears there was no foul play, this is an ongoing investigation, Holbrook said.

Alta Vista is a 75-acre cemetery at 521 Jones St. It has been operational for more than 140 years.