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Wayne County Man Found Dead Near Stop Sign

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Authorities are trying to figure out why a man was found dead wrapped in clear plastic and placed against a stop sign in Wayne County.

Authorities say Tony Wayne Smith, 39, was found naked Sunday morning by a passer-by at the corner of N.C. Highway 111 and Mince Hill Road outside Goldsboro. Authorities said they do not suspect his death was the result of foul play.

"There were no signs of violent death. He was not shot, stabbed, beat or strangled," said Lt. George Raecher of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Raecher said Smith was originally from Gates County and had only been in Goldsboro for a month, staying with family and friends.

Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Best said Smith was at a party either late Saturday night or early Sunday. Best says there is a possibility that Smith was wrapped in plastic and placed against the stop sign as the result of a practical joke at the party he was attending.

Authorities believe Smith may have already been passed out from drinking too much when he was placed against the sign. Authorities are trying to figure out whether Smith died before or after he was placed on the sign. An autopsy is expected to be released later this week.

So far, no arrests have been made in the case.