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Three men charged in burned truck homicide

Photo by Mark Lammers

Photo by Mark Lammers

CONYERS -- Murder and arson charges have been filed against three men suspected to be involved in the February homicide of a man found dead in a burned pick up truck.

Kelton Franklin, 36, of Snellville and Deodrick Rivers, 31, of Ellenwood were taken into custody Thursday morning, according to Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Investigator Michael Camp.

Arrest warrants have been issued for a third suspect, who investigators believed would turn himself in by Thursday night. They declined to identify the suspect until they had him in custody.

All three face charges of murder and arson in connection with a Feb. 5 incident in which Rockdale County firefighters found a burned vehicle off the roadway on Turner Road near Abbott Road. Firefighters discovered the remains of a body in the bed of the truck. The man is thought to be Martin Mendoza Villa-Gomez, 36, of Auburn in Barrow County.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Franklin Feb. 14 during the investigation. Franklin was charged with false statements and writings and concealment of facts. Franklin reportedly made false statements to investigators when he was questioned in connection with Villagomez's death. Franklin posted a $10,000 bond and was released the same day of his arrest.

Villa-Gomez reportedly was an electrician who had gone into downtown Atlanta for work when he went missing. His wife and uncle reported he was missing when he did not come home that evening.

Check back to www.rockdalecitizen.com for updates.