Colquitt police chief found dead after countywide police search

Colquitt Police Chief Kenneth Kirkland
Colquitt Police Chief Kenneth Kirkland(Colquitt Police Department)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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COLQUITT, Ga. (WALB) - Colquitt Police Chief Kenneth Kirkland has died following a large police search in Miller County, according to City Manager Cory Thomas.

Kirkland, 51, was found late Wednesday night around 10:30 p.m. He was reported missing Wednesday evening when he did not show up at church where he was scheduled to speak.

Law enforcement officials said they tracked his cell phone to find his vehicle hidden by bushes where it apparently ran off the road.

Kirkland’s body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for an autopsy but Thomas said his death was caused by natural causes, possibly a heart attack.

Kirkland was a 30-year veteran of law enforcement. He had been a member of the Colquitt Police Department for 20 years and was appointed chief in May 2020.

He is survived by his wife and two stepsons.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 at Pirate Stadium.

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