Body found in trunk of missing Newton man's car

COVINGTON -- The search for a missing Newton County man has spread to Atlanta after the man's vehicle was found ablaze Saturday in southwest Atlanta with an unidentified body in the trunk.

A family member of Gregory Vernon Harris, 49, of 185 Bridges Way reported the man missing on Friday to the Newton County Sheriff's Office after the family was unable to reach him.

"She said she hadn't heard from him and normally he calls the family every day. She had left several messages for him and he hadn't returned the calls," said NCSO Public Information Officer Courtney Morrison. "She had a key to the residence and she went in and noticed things out of place and disturbed."

In the early morning hours Saturday, the Atlanta Police Department received a call about a fire and they found a burning Infiniti M35 behind a vacant home. After extinguishing the blaze, a body was found in the trunk. It was later determined that the car was registered to Harris, but his whereabouts are still unknown.

"The body was badly burned and has not been identified," said Lt. Paul Guerrucci of APD'S homicide unit. "The identification is in the hands of the (Fulton County) Medical Examiner's Office and dental records and DNA will have to be used and that could take a while."

The Atlanta homicide detective said Wednesday they were following certain leads, but had nothing more to release on the case at this time. Meanwhile, the NCSO is continuing their investigation as well.