GBI identifies Georgia man who drowned in 2019

July 17, 2023
1 min read
GBI identifies Georgia man who drowned in 2019

The Gist: After four years of investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has finally identified the unknown remains found in a Cook County pond back in 2019.

According to the GBI, the human remains belong to Jeremiah Garretson, a 36-year-old man from Nashville, Georgia.

What Happened?:

  • On March 4, 2019, authorities received a call about a body found in a Lenox pond on Ed Lindsey Road.
  • Deputies arrived at the scene and discovered the partially decomposed body of a white male.
  • Following an autopsy by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office, it was determined that the cause of death was drowning, and the manner of death was accidental.
  • Despite extensive searches through missing person reports in multiple counties, there were no matches found initially.
  • The GBI collected DNA and fingerprints from the remains, but no matches were found in the CODIS and AFIS databases.
  • A forensic artist created a sketch of the person, which was shared with the public. However, no leads resulted in a positive identification.

Why It Matters:

For more than four years, the GBI tirelessly investigated the case, searching missing person reports from several counties in the region, including Cook, Berrien, Tift, Lowndes, Colquitt, Lanier, and Brooks. Despite extensive efforts, no matches were found in the databases.

DNA and fingerprints were collected from the remains and sent to the GBI crime lab for analysis. However, comparing the genetic and fingerprint data against the CODIS and AFIS databases yielded no results. In an attempt to generate leads, the GBI’s forensic artist created a sketch of the unidentified individual, which was shared with the public. Unfortunately, no significant breakthroughs were made despite the multiple leads generated.

In late 2022, the GBI collaborated with Othram, Inc., a company specializing in advanced DNA testing and genealogical profiling. By utilizing their cutting-edge Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing technology, Othram was able to analyze the DNA evidence provided by the GBI.


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