GOODLETTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Police are following leads after a man was found dead in a van in a church parking lot near Goodlettsville on Tuesday night.
The Nashville Fire Department responded to a call for a vehicle on fire in the parking lot of Parkway Baptist Church, 505 Cunniff Parkway, at 8:40 p.m. Firefighters discovered the body in the Dodge Grand Caravan after the families were extinguished.
“I heard some noise when I was sitting at home last night,” said Bobby, who lives in the neighborhood near the church. “I came out looking and the fire department was out here putting a fair out on a van sitting out there in the parking lot.”
Bobby and other neighbors in the area were shocked to hear what had happened in an area they described as a quiet neighborhood.
“It was strange because you don’t usually hear stuff like that going on around here,” Bobby said. “It’s usually quiet around here. You usually don’t have any disturbance.”
Metro Police are describing the incident as an apparent murder of a man.
“I mean you got dead bodies in cars. That would concern anybody, especially when you got small kids around. You don’t know what’s next,” Bobby said. “The parking lot has become a haven for different stupid stuff. I don’t know what’s going on with that. They try to leave it open for people so the neighborhood can enjoy the parking lot.”
Rev. Matt Megginson, the senior pastor at Parkway Baptist, said the vehicle was left in the front parking lot of the church on Tuesday evening. Neighbors notified the church that the vehicle was on fire and the authorities were informed.
“The vehicle is not connected to our church, and none of our church members were involved in the incident in any way,” Megginson said in a statement. “We are cooperating with local authorities and aiding their investigation in every way possible. Our prayers go up for everyone that may have been impacted by this incident.”
“It’s like they’re just disrespecting the church grounds. I don’t understand what’s wrong with people,” Bobby said. “What really can you do about it unless you want to close up the church parking lot and that’s unfair to all the neighbors and the kids that have been around here all these years using it without no problems.”
The victim has not been identified. Metro Police said further examination of the body will take place Wednesday at the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.