August 22, 2006
The remains of a dead body found in a swampy area between Harlem and Grovetown may belong to a Columbia County man who went missing in June.
Surveyors discovered the remains early yesterday afternoon near Hamilton Road off Wrightsboro.
It's a remote area that's tough to find, and it may have been the perfect hiding place for someone who never wanted to be found.
Surveyors found the remains about a half a mile beyond a narrow, beaten-down dirt path off Hamilton Road. The area is part of more than 150 acres of thick brush, just purchased by Beazley Properties to develop single-family homes.
Just before the sale of the land about a month ago, neighbors tell us the dirt road had been restricted.
But the deputy coroner says the body had been there for at least 8-10 weeks.
"They said the remains were on one of the old cut lines--survey lines," said Capt. Steve Morris of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. "Basically just skeletal remains."
While officials won't confirm the identity, they believe the description may match the body of 42-year-old Stephen Inglett. Inglett has been missing since June, and is wanted by US Marshals on weapons charges.
"He was last seen walking away from his residence, and he lived on Harlem-Grovetown Road," Capt. Morris said.
Crime scene technicians are using every tool they have to find more clues while they wait for dental records to shed some light on the mystery.
If it is in fact the person officials suspect, dental records could prove it within three days.
Investigators had a lot more to do today when they got back out on the scene. Even though the body was already found, the coroner and GBI investigators had to do an extensive search to make sure there weren't more that may have been scattered by Mother Nature.