Man, apparently homeless, found dead Saturday

Dec. 28, 2013 @ 04:18 PM

Durham police were investigating Saturday the death of a man believed to be homeless who was found under the Mangum Street bridge over N.C. 147.

According to a news release from the Durham Police Department, officers got the call about 10:36 a.m. Saturday, and went to the scene to investigate a “person down.”

They found an unidentified homeless man dead under the bridge, according to the release.

The cause of death was not known at the time of the release. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

Bryan Gilmer, a spokesman for Urban Ministries of Durham, said that Saturday night was what is referred to at the homeless shelter and community kitchen as a “white flag night.” On nights when temperatures are forecast to be below freezing or during extreme weather events, the shelter allows “anyone we can pack into the building to spend the night at Urban Ministries.” Normally, Gilmer said the shelter checks people on Monday mornings to spend the night for a the week, and then checks in people again on Thursdays if they have open beds.

“Anyone, under white flag policy, can come up just by showing up in the evening, and we admitted more than a dozen extra people who weren’t previously checked in last night under that policy,” Gilmer said. “We even allowed two people to check in after the normal time than we close the door for the night because it’s so very dangerous for people to be sleeping outside when it’s this cold.”