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Lee deaths await autopsy report

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November 12, 2007

Lee County-  Unusual and unfortunate. That's what the Lee County Sheriff's office calls two unrelated weekend deaths.

Saturday morning, the bodies of a well-known businessman and a college student were found, less than a mile apart. Nineteen year old Jarrod Wills was found dead in his home on Fussell Road, while 67 year old Evard Dodge was found floating in his pool in the Grand Island subdivision off Ledo Road.

Monday the GBI and Lee Co. Sheriff's investigators have more questions than answers in Saturday's deaths of 19 year old Jarrod Wills and 67 year old Evard Dodge.

"We want to take every step we can to alleviate every fear or thought that anyone else might have and put it rest for the family as well," said Col. Duane Sapp, Lee County Sheriff's office.

It was early Saturday morning when the Sheriff's office got a 911 call asking them to check on the 19 year old Georgia Southwestern student. When deputies arrived at the Fussell Road home, they spotted Wills through a window. The GBI was called to investigate.

"Until the autopsy report is back we will not even know what the cause of death was," said Agent Trebor Randle, GBI Americus.

Just two hours later, deputies got a second call when a family member found 67 year old Evard Dodge owner of Stardust Skate Center and Lighthouse Liquors dead in the swimming pool of his Grand Island home, on his birthday.

"We can't rule it in any way because we don't what the cause of death is," said Sapp.

In both cases, nothing suspicious was found in either home to explain the deaths, so without an autopsy, investigators have little to go on and their answers could take time.

"Because they are very, very detailed and they entail doing microscopic evaluations and serological and toxicological evaluations they can take months," said Sapp.

With the crime lab closed for the Veterans Day holiday it could be Wednesday before either family learns the first details.

WALB spoke briefly with Evard Dodge's family members Monday who declined an interview, but said they weren't aware of any type of health problems. Dodge had been helping with a golf tournament to benefit Law Enforcement at Grand Island.

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