COVINGTON -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Newton County Sheriff's Office are looking into the possibility that the Dec. 30 discovery of a body in a burning vehicle in Newton County may be linked to two similar murders.
"The similarity is that all three bodies were found murdered in their vehicles," said GBI spokesman John Bankhead. "We don't know if there's any connection at this point, but investigators are checking that out."
The man whose body was found in western Newton County on McGiboney Lane, off Spring Road near the Rockdale County line has been identified as Alvin Hall, 44, of Atlanta.
"An autopsy at the GBI crime lab identified Hall through fingerprints," John Bankhead said. "(He) was found in a 2000 or 2001 black, Chevy Impala."
The vehicle was discovered about 10:45 p.m. when the Newton County Fire Service was dispatched to a vehicle fire. As the fire was being extinguished, authorities located the body.
"The investigation has determined that Hall was last seen alive earlier that evening of Dec. 30 in the area of Empire Park in Atlanta. Newton County Sheriff's Office investigators and the GBI are in contact with the Atlanta Police Department regarding this case," Bankhead said.
Authorities have declined to give information on how Hall was killed, but NCSO spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver said Hall was a city of Atlanta employee and had a family. He said investigators did not yet know the motive behind Hall's death and would not say whether Hall was the registered owner of the car in which he was found.
Oliver said Hall had not been reported missing and it was believed the body had been at the McGiboney Lane location a only short time before it was discovered. He said the area where the burning vehicle was located was a vacant lot with no houses or structures on it.
"I would definitely say whoever left the vehicle there had to have been familiar with the area to know that location," Oliver said.
The other two bodies were located over the weekend. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the body of Morrow resident D'Anta Williams, 30, was found in the trunk of a vehicle at Perkerson Park in southwest Atlanta. He had been shot several times.
Bankhead said the third victim -- Dewayne Louder, 26, of Greenville -- was apparently kidnapped from his Haven Circle residence on Saturday evening by multiple gunmen.
"Louder's body was found on Sunday morning, Jan. 3, in his vehicle in a rural area of Troup County. Evidence at the scene indicates Louder was shot multiple times," Bankhead said, adding that his home was ransacked before the gunmen took Louder from the residence.
The NCSO and the GBI are soliciting the public's help in solving this case. Anyone with information on this murder is asked to call the NCSO at 678-625-1429 or the GBI Tip Line at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477). Also, tips can be given anonymously through www.newtonsheriffga.org by clicking on the anonymous tip link and following instructions. Those who want a response from an investigator are asked to leave contact information.