KPD: Body found under deck identified

Update Saturday:
Knoxville Police have identified the body of the man found during an Easter egg hunt earlier this week.

KPD said the man is Joshua Wayne Grubb, 29, a homeless man from Knoxville. Officials are still waiting for results of his autopsy, but say they believe he died of natural causes.

Original story Thursday:

(WBIR - Knoxville) The hunt for the source of a foul odor ended with the discovery of a decomposing body under the deck of a family's home in west Knoxville.

The body was found by a mother who was having an Easter egg hunt for her four-year-old child in the back yard, according to Knoxville police. Officials said the body had been there for about two weeks.

The woman told police she had smelled a foul odor outside her home on Forest View Road for several days. She tried to find the source of the smell a couple of times during the week to no avail.

When someone cut the woman's grass earlier this week, she asked the person mowing to search for whatever was creating the foul odor in the yard. The person cutting the grass also did not notice the corpse beneath the deck.

Wednesday night at 7:19 p.m., the mother noticed the smell again during the Easter egg hunt and was finally able to locate the body.

The deck is large and relatively low to the ground. The space beneath it grows dark and narrow where it connects to the house. Police said the body was in a spot deep beneath the deck around 15 to 20 feet from the outer edge.

After seeing initial autopsy results, Knoxville police said they believe the man died from a medical condition, but they're still waiting until the final autopsy is complete before listing the cause of death as natural.

Investigators still don't know the identity of the body because they had little to go on during the initial discovery. The man didn't have identification and the body had decomposed to the point police couldn't take point fingerprints in the field. He didn't have any scars or tattoos but did have extensive dental work. The man appears to be middle-aged, approximately 5'4" tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He also has brown hair and brown eyes. KPD is working with the medical examiner to identify the man.

Police also looked through missing persons reports to see if the body's description matched any in the database but none did.

KPD's Major Crimes Unit is conducting the investigation.


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