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Body found Sunday in wooded area off Crowell Road

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office is conducting what is being called a "death investigation" following the discovery of a body in a wooded area off Crowell Road near McDonald's restaurant around 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said the body, a male, "had been there quite some time."

Remains have been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab and authorities are awaiting results of their findings.

Investigators believe they know the man's identity, but are not releasing his name pending the notification of next of kin.

Mitchell said it is believed the body may be that of a man who had previously been reported missing. Investigators do not believe he was the victim of foul play.

"It doesn't look like at this point that the investigation will change to a homicide investigation," Mitchell said.

The skeletal remains were discovered by Mike Estes of R.M. Estes Heating and Air Conditioning out of Covington and a researcher with Civil War Research - the Atlanta Campaign, who was doing a survey in the area.

"I have been working on Union troops coming through the area on numerous dates and I had been looking at the Union Army crossing the Yellow River and had gone into that area looking for old road beds," Estes said.

He said he noticed various items of trash and a duffel bag and didn't think too much about it as he is accustomed to finding debris of that sort in the woods.

"Then I saw some tennis shoes and looked at those closer and saw the bones of a human being still in the shoes," Estes said. "I wasn't expecting to find that."