Grand jury to rule on mysterious hunter death in Wilkes Co.


News 12 First at Five/ August 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga.--It's a death investigation that's been going on for nearly a year now, one that even the most seasoned GBI agents, like Mike Ayers, call very odd.

"It is rather bizarre, but right now, truthfully, we have a lot more questions than we have answers." That was Special Agent Ayer's response 11 months ago to the mysterious death of a hunter in Wilkes County.

The mystery started last September when 35-year-old Jeffrey Gebardt and a friend travelled from Blairsville,Ga to go on a hunting trip in Holliday Park. Gebhardt went missing, and after a lengthy search, they found his body with 18 stab wounds.

James Stone fishes near the location where they found the body. He says, "It's very rare that something like that happens around here, so it was the talk of the town for a while."

Stone owns a restaurant in Washington, Ga., and he's lived here for years, so he's heard a lot of talk about the mysterious death.

He says, "I've heard all different types of rumors, but usually nothing happens around here, so it's just kind of weird for someone to come down here to do that."

Originially, the GBI ruled the death as a murder, but after further testing came back, they said Gebhardt committed suicide with a knife. But, that conclusion just doesn't make sense to a lot of people in Wilkes County.

Stone said, "It's kind of hard to stab yourself 18 times and not give up before then."

A grand jury finally got to see all of the evidence Tuesday in Wilkes county to determine where the case goes from here, in a town still full of questions.

"Just to have an answer. so they can say what happened. make sure no one here was involved in it," Stone said.

The grand jury is reviewing all of the evidence still, and we are expecting the results either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.


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