Residents call for change after decomposing body is found in South Memphis apartment complex


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police say a man whose decomposing body was found in an abandoned South Memphis apartment complex had been shot multiple times.

The discovery has renewed calls for change in the neighborhood.

People living in the area say something needs to be done about the blighted complex.

Frank Johnson knows the streets surrounding the Warren apartment complex well. He’s the President of the Alcy-Ball Neighborhood Association.

“My family’s been here since 1959,” Johnson said. “I’m living in the house my father bought.”

Empty for the last few years and overrun with weeds and trash, the embattled Warren Apartments were once the subject of multiple WREG investigations for poor living conditions. 

Now, the place is a dumping ground.

“And so we have a young man dead and his body was dumped where? In an under resourced community, at a spot that we’ve been complaining about,” Johnson said.

Johnson, an advocate for his neighborhood, thinks this discovery should be a wake up call.

“We know we would not be talking about this, we would not have this whole conversation or this whole ordeal if this was Chickasaw Gardens,” Johnson said. “We know we would not be having this conversation. We wouldn’t of had it a few months ago.”

Back in May, WREG spoke with Johnson at the same spot about excessive dumping happening feet from the Warren Apartments. The City of Memphis later installed cameras in the area to try to stop the littering. 

“It’s just this cycle, and that’s why I like the idea of the cameras but we want more preventative measures,” Johnson said.

Those preventative measures could include having the road closed to prevent access to the dumping area and having something done to rehab the complex causing problems.

The Millennia Companies, based out of Ohio, owns the Warren Apartments. A spokesperson tells WREG they’re “working to engage a contractor and finalize plans for demolition.”

 “We would love to repurpose these apartments, because even if we tear them down then that’s going to be another problem, because who is going to maintain it?” Johnson said.

The Millennia Companies did not give a timeline of their planned demolition.

Memphis Police say they don’t know how long the body was at the complex. They say officers are combing over evidence.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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