Dead body found in trash

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

New information about the man whose body was found Monday in a trash container in downtown Augusta.

Officers know who he was, but they're not saying until they notify his family.

Investigators think the family may live in Wisconsin.

The man lived in Augusta, with a last known address at the Salvation Army on Greene Street.

In an alarming trend that News 12 uncovered today, some local business owners say the area in which the body was found is a hotspot for crime.

Dealing with crime near his business is nothing new for Bill Prince. He says he sees it all the time behind his liquor store, which shares the same back area as William Murrell’s limo service, where the body was found.

"I've been told there's drugs being sold back there, prostitutes back there,” says Prince. "I've called the police a bunch of times to have 'em run off."

The Richmond County sheriff's office got eight complaints for that small patch of land over the past several weeks, including loitering, suspected prostitutes, panhandlers, and drug deals.

Deputies came out each time...and one of those complaints led to the arrest of a man named John Watkins. The incident report for that arrest says a deputy "recovered a plastic baggie and it contained approximately 3 grams of cocaine.”

We asked Richmond County police lieutenant Scott Peebles about a possible link between those complaints and this potential homicide.

"It would be pure speculation. It's just too early to figure out what links may or may not exist,” Peebles says.

Yesterday's crime scene looks a whole lot different the day after. All the garbage, and the garbage can, have been cleaned up.

William Murrell found the body in a trash can behind his business. He says the body would be hard to recognize even for people who knew the victim.

"Oh, it was totally shocking,” Murrell says. “Something you don't see every day."

Investigators say they're going to continue contacting people who may have known the man and work to find out how he ended up in the trash.

"I don't know if he was killed there or brought there or left there...I just don't know,” says Prince.

Those are the same questions that many in that area still have.

We spoke to a half-dozen other business owners near yesterday's crime scene. Many said they also notice a lot of loitering and possible illegal behavior going on.

And investigators say they have talked with the victim in the past. They wouldn't say anything more than that at this time, but we should know more in a few days.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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