A Columbus Light and Water Department employee died on the job Saturday, according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant.
Johnny Will Prude, Jr., 54, was found dead at the CLW’s wastewater plant off of Yorkville Road, Merchant said.
CLW General Manager Angela Verdell, in an email to The Dispatch, said the employee had not been responding to calls.
“At approximately 9:30 a.m., an employee of Columbus Light and Water was performing usual tasks at one of our water facilities,” Verdell said. “After time passed when the employee failed to respond to calls from co-workers, emergency protocols were implemented to determine the employee’s whereabouts.”
Police Chief Fred Shelton said that police were called around 2 p.m.
“They hadn’t seen or heard from their employee, so we helped them search the plant,” he said.
Both Shelton and Merchant said foul play was not suspected.
“I don’t think there was any foul play, but we’re going to keep investigating until we see what’s what,” Merchant said.
The cause of death was not immediately apparent, Merchant said. The body was sent to the state crime lab for autopsy.
Brian Jones is the local government reporter for Columbus and Lowndes County.