Remains exhumed from Worth Co. grave -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Remains exhumed from Worth Co. grave

Sheriff Freddie Tompkins Sheriff Freddie Tompkins

DNA evidence could help solve a south Georgia murder nearly 25 years after it happened.      The GBI exhumed the remains of a unidentified man who was found decapitated near a Worth County field in 1988.     

Longtime Sheriff Freddie Tompkins hopes forensic science will yield some answers into the county's most horrific unsolved crime.

Many Worth Countians remember when the dismembered body of a man was found near Warwick. But there were few clues at the time even to identify the victim. Now it's in the hands of science to further this cold case.

In his 28 years in office Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins has one unsolved homicide still on the books.

It's a mystery he would like to see solved. "When you find something like that and you can't identify them, you're always left wondering," Thompkins said.

He recalls the date and location well. It was September 6, 1988. A farmer near Warwick spotted some buzzards flying around an area off Brown Place Road. What he thought was a deer carcass turned out to be something much more disturbing.

"We got there and we saw that it was a torso. There was no head, no hands, and no feet. Looking at it, there was really no way to identify them at that time," Thompkins said.

The decapitated man had been brutally murdered. "Whoever killed him must have been mad at him and didn't want him to be Id'ed by going to such extremes," Thompkins said.

The John Doe victim was laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery where the case remained cold until last week. "The GBI contacted me about three months ago and said they wanted to exhume the body. So we went down there last week and got some DNA samples."

It was the second body exhumed last week. Last Friday the GBI collected DNA from a Jane Doe body in Baker County in hopes it could lead to her identification.

Tompkins, who will retire in January, hopes the DNA technology will bring closure to someone nearly 25 years later.. 

Around the same time this body was found, two other decapitated bodies were found dumped in North Georgia but the cases were never linked. Thompkins doesn't believe the man was from the area.    

Investigators say the body was that of a black man under the age of 40, between 5' 6" and six feet tall.      No word on when the DNA results will be complete.


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