Berrien Co. man identified by GBI as remains found in Cook Co. pond in 2019
LENOX, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has identified human remains found in a Cook County pond in March 2019.
The body found was Jeremiah Garretson, 36, of Nashville.
On March 4, 2019, the GBI received a request from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to assist in a death investigation. At around 8 a.m., Cook County 911 received a call about a body found in a pond on Ed Lindsey Road in Lenox.
Deputies arrived on the scene and found the partially decomposed body of a man in the pond. Department of Natural Resources rangers helped in recovering the body.
The GBI Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and found the cause of death was drowning, ruling the death accidental.
During the initial investigation, agents searched missing person reports from Cook, Berrien, Tift, Lowndes, Colquitt, Lanier and Brooks counties with no matches.
Agents obtained DNA and fingerprints from the remains and sent them to the GBI crime lab. Scientists compared the DNA and fingerprints in the CODIS and AFIS databases with no matches.
A GBI forensic artist created a sketch of what the person may have looked like, which was made public. The sketch provided multiple leads, none of which led to a match, GBI said. A case was opened with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
In late 2022, the GBI began working with Othram, Inc., a company that uses DNA testing to help solve cases. In 2023, the GBI sent forensic evidence to Othram. Based on DNA, a genealogical search produced investigative leads that led to Garretson being identified.
Garretson’s family was notified in May 2023.
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