Cause of death revealed for man found in parking lot

A report released by the Fulton County Medical Examiner revealed a heroin overdose as the cause of death for a former Tech student who was found deceased in a parked vehicle in the Student Center guest parking lot on the second day of classes last fall.Johnathan Grams, a 28-year old who was last enrolled at Tech in 2003 as a Mechanical Engineering major, was found deceased in a white 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup truck on Aug. 21, 2007. His body remained in the vehicle for hours in the sweltering heat, and the pungent odor and blood dripping out from the vehicle prompted a staff member to report the situation to the Georgia Tech Police Department.Grams was confirmed deceased by a unit of Grady Emergency Medical Services, and the parking lot was sealed off within a 50-foot radius of the truck while an investigation and cleanup were conducted. Not until the next morning was the parking lot fully re-opened.The vehicle, which bore an Alabama license plate, had been reported stolen in that state by its owner, Thomas Taylor. Taylor is the owner of Alabama Water Blasting Co. where Grams was employed, and told police that he loaned Grams a fleet vehicle from his company to attend a class reunion. He reported the vehicle stolen when Grams did not return by Aug. 19, the date by which he had agreed to return the vehicle. Taylor last talked to Grams on Aug. 17The report of the medical examiner identified a toxic level of morphine as the cause of death based on an analysis of decompositional fluid. Morphine is the metabolic product of heroin. Based on the available information, the report classified the overdose as accidental.In specifying the cause of death, the report noted an absence of disease as well as a lack of trauma to the head and body. This was in contrast to the investigator’s initial comments, filed at the time of the death report before the autopsy and after the body had undergone considerable decomposition and marbling, which stated that the probable cause of death was “yet to be determined trauma to his upper torso”.