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Body found in irrigation ditch

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April 25, 2003

Calhoun County - A body is found in an irrigation ditch on a south Georgia plantation. GBI agents are waiting on details from the crime lab to find out who the man is, but clues surrounding the scene could lead to a missing Newton man.

A plantation worker, checking on hog traps on a dirt road, found a dead man instead. Nearby resident, Warren Miller, explains, "He walked over to look at irrigation system, when he got to this point here, he saw the body right down here with the arms stretched out, faced down. Crossways is where the alligators go back and forth."

The body was found around four Thursday afternoon on Magnolia Plantation in Calhoun County. A mile away from the main road. Miller says, "Quit a shock to the system. You see dead animals, but when it's a human being it changes the picture all together."

Miller couldn't get a good description of the man. He says, "It's hard to tell, he was discoloration and probably in there for a while."

The man was found in the pathway of an alligator crossing. Miller says, "Oh yeah, plenty of alligators all through here right now."

Friday morning, GBI agents escorted Newton Police onto the Calhoun County property. The question now, could this body be that of Peter Watson? Watson was reported missing 10 days ago. His car was found on Old Millford Road in Baker County with it's doors open and keys in the ignition. Newton Police didn't suspect foul play at the time and didn't fingerprint the car.

Meanwhile plantation residents have a lot on their minds. Miller says, "It will be something I'll remember for a while."

GBI agents have neither confirmed nor denied the body is Watson.

The body was taken to the Moultrie Crime Lab. We spoke to Peter Watson's brother, Thomas. He was traveling from Florida to be with his family in Baker County. They are all waiting on updates from GBI agents.

posted at 5:45PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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