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Man found dead near I-20 in Social Circle identified as Stone Mountain man

SOCIAL CIRCLE — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has determined that the man found dead while firefighters were extinguishing a brush fire near Interstate 20 in Social Circle last week had been shot.

John Bankhead, spokesman for the GBI, issued a press release stating that the man has been identified as 36-year-old Akili Jabari Stewart of Stone Mountain and that the autopsy completed on Saturday by the GBI's Medical Examiner's office revealed he died as a result of gunshot wounds.

“Because arson was involved in the crime, the State Fire Marshall issued a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible,” Bankhead stated.

Stewart’s body was found around 11:44 p.m. on Thursday after a motorist called 911 to report a brush fire near U.S. Highway 278 and I-20. When firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze, they discovered the body in the nearby woods.   

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Social Police Department, GBI Athens Regional Office, and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477) or the GBI Athens Office at (706) 552-2309.