AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Salvation Army of Amarillo says gossip circulating on social media about a man freezing to death after the shelter refused to help him is simply untrue.
Stephanie Pena says many people are asking questions after hearsay about a man without any warm clothes getting turned away by the Salvation Army. The man, according to the tale, later died from below-freezing temperatures.
Pena, the local shelter's media relations coordinator, says any person in need has always been - and will continue to be - welcome with open arms,
"The Salvation Army does not turn anyone away during winter and the Christmas season," Pena said.
NewsChannel 10 spoke with Kit Rudd, a local homeless activist who was among those posting about the alleged incident. Rudd tells us he received his information from an inside source, and admits he may have been wrong in claiming the Salvation Army turned the man away.
The homeless person detailed in Rudd's story was identified Friday as 53-year-old Jamey Scott Johnson. The Amarillo Police Department said Johnson was found dead outside of a business on Amarillo Boulevard East.
An autopsy performed on Johnson only revealed an enlarged heart, according to Potter County Justice of the Peace Gary Jackson. Toxicology results from the autopsy will not be available for several weeks.
Pena determined the Salvation Army did not have contact with Johnson before he was found by reviewing all available surveillance footage.
Jackson was booked into the Randall County jail Nov. 25 on drug paraphernalia and pedestrian in the roadway charges. He was released early morning Dec. 7 and dropped off near 200 S. Tyler St., according to the Randall County Sheriff's Office.
This story was edited at 4 p.m. Friday to reflect new information from the Amarillo Police Department and Potter County officials.