- Cullman, Alabama

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January 4, 2014

No autopsy for man found dead Christmas Day

CULLMAN — The Cullman man who was found dead in a wooded area on Christmas Day was cremated at his family’s request and no autopsy was performed, officials said.

Joel Adcock, Jr., 53, of Vinemont, was found around 1:50 p.m. on Dec. 25 in a wooded area between Lessman and Graham Streets in Cullman by a juvenile who went to test out the BB gun he received as a Christmas gift. Cullman City assistant police chief Craig Green said the case is closed because there was no evidence supporting that foul play caused the man’s death.

“We have dealt with Mr. Adcock in the past on several occasions,” Green said. “There was no autopsy done because the family chose to have his body cremated and there’s nothing that leads us to believe that any outside factors would show anything other than a difficult life and poor choices on that day is what lead to his death. We’re still very comfortable that he died of natural causes — causes that were self-inflicted by a potentially accidental overdose. Nothing leads us to believe there was foul play involved in his death.” 

Adcock’s body was surrounded by four empty air cans, which suggests it was an accidental self-inflicted death, officials said. The compressed air cans or air dusters contain dangerous contents that can potentially freeze the lungs after inhaling the product and have been involved in other reported accidental overdoses across the nation, Green said.

Cullman County Coroner Steve Rodgers said he believes Mr. Adcock passed away sometime early Monday, Dec. 23. The official cause of death and time of death were never released.

It was reported that a tent was found in the woods and Mr. Adcock had been allegedly staying in it, but authorities said he had an address in Vinemont.

“From what we understand, he was renting a room in the Vinemont area and our investigators have spoken with him at that residence in Vinemont in the recent past,” Green said. “We do have reason to believe that by his choice, he did spend some time staying in the wooded area where he passed away, but he also had a room to return to if he chose to do so.”


* Lauren Estes can be reached at or 256-734-2131, ext.137.

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