Meridian police say the discovery happened around 7:30 in the morning in an alleyway between the Hope Village Thrift Shop and the Jubilee Mennonite Church near the corner of 8th street and 27th Avenue in Meridian.
Police say a man walking by noticed a homeless man that was living in the alleyway had been lying in the same position for two days and he sensed that something may be wrong and called police.
Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobbler determined that 52 year old Gary Caraway of Hickory had been dead since Sunday. Cobbler confirmed Caraway suffered head trauma and he says it appeared he had been beaten.
"We are not ruling a homicide out, but right now we are not classifying that as any particular cause right now until we get that indication from the crime lab," Meridian Police Captain James Sharpe said.
The actual cause of death has not been determined. Cobbler says it could take up to a month for complete autopsy results. Police are continuing the investigation.
"We have had contact from citizens who stated that they have let him come in, they've fed him they've let him sleep there during bad weather. And we're just trying to get a feel for who he was and how he might have died. Right now we don't have any indications of any real health problems," Sharpe said.