UPDATE: Body identified after being found in parking lot

(Credit: MGN Online)
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, May 13, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The body found in a Washington Road parking lot over the weekend has been identified.

Dayton Counsell's body was found near the Smoker's Lounge next door to the Country Club on Washington Road.

The call came in around 8 p.m. Friday, but investigators still have no idea how long the body had been in the car. They say from looking at the decomposition it had been several days.

Michael Thurman and his wife had just been to see a movie when they saw police lights in the corner of the parking lot Friday night.

Thurman walked over to the scene, but didn't have to ask what was going on. His nose told him the answer first.

"Right then, I caught a whiff, and I said, oh, you've got a dead body, I'll leave you alone."

The body was later identified as Counsell. He had just turned 21 last month. The coroner says his body had started to decompose, and the smell was very strong.

"To me, the death is suspicious right now, and once we get the results back, we'll be able to confirm everything," Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said.

People like Glenn Houser, who comes to the Washington Square parking lot every day, also thinks it's suspicious that no one noticed anything sooner.

"That's really bizarre because massive amounts of people walk through here every day," Houser said.

Antawan Braddy was on his way to a movie when News 12 told him the news.

"People walk past cars, and I know they probably smelled that?"

The coroner had a similar response.

"It surprised me a good bit. You know, when I got there, I noticed it [the smell], and I just couldn't figure out why people didn't see it sooner," Bowen said.

The coroner says they found Counsell in the front seat of his Blazer, slouched back a little but was definitely visible.

Most people are just shocked the body was right under their noses, just sitting in the parking lot for days.

"It gives me the creeps," Houser said.

"I think it's pretty gross. That's a body, another human just sitting in a car," Braddy said.

"It's just a sad situation. You hate for anybody to die, and then you hate that it's been there for so long that it's started to smell," Thurman said.

The body is at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy, but they say there's such a backlog, it could be months before they have a cause of death.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A body was found in the Washington Square parking lot on Washington Road Friday night.

The person has not yet been identified, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Deputies say the body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators are treating the death as suspicious.