Just after 4 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters were called to the scene behind the Citgo gas station on Windy Hill Road near Interstate 75. The fire was under control by 4:17 a.m., firefighter Denell Boyd said, and the body was found when firefighters were combing the area for hotspots.
Though the body was burned beyond recognition, investigators have determined it was a white male approximately 40 to 50 years old, police said. His right arm had been amputated below the elbow, and he likely walked with a limp, police say, based on the "lift shoe" that was on his left foot.
"Because it's what I term to be an unnatural death, we are treating this as a homicide," Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said.
Jay Salmasi, who owns the Citgo station adjacent to WellStar Windy Hill Hospital, said the man had bought a beverage in his store on Monday.
"He was an older gentleman and his arm from his elbow was missing. He had a limp also," Salmasi said. "And he then said he was going to Florida the next day, meaning Tuesday. But it looks like he didn't make it too far."
Cobb Police can be reached at (770) 499-3945.