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Man's body found on rural road

COVINGTON — The body of a 29-year-old man was stumbled upon by a hunter in a wooded area on Piper Road on Wednesday evening around 6:45, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

The dead man is identified as Wendell Ronard Barber of Atlanta.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver said the body is believed to have been dumped about five days before it was discovered and that foul play is definitely suspected.

"At this time it is still an ongoing investigation and no arrest has been made," Oliver said.

Because of the remote location — "all the way at the end of Piper Road" — Oliver said it is suspected the person who dumped the body was somewhat familiar with the area, pointing out that it is not easily accessible from I-20 and would be difficult for a person who doesn't know Newton County to locate.

Piper Road runs off Ga. Highway 36 and the area where the body was found is an undeveloped section that backs into a subdivision, Oliver said.

Oliver said authorities do not know if the slaying actually took place in Newton County or if the body was simply dumped here. He said they were not ready to release the cause of death and at present had no suspects and did not know of a motive.

"The Newton County Sheriff's Office is asking for anyone who remembers any unusual activity in the area of Piper Road last week or has information regarding this case to contact us at 678-625-1412," Oliver said. "If you want to remain anonymous, you can visit our Web site at newtonsheriffga.org or call our anonymous tip line at 678-625-5007."