A south Dodge County man was charged with murder Tuesday for an alleged 1998 slaying that authorities didnt know about until Monday evening.
A tipster implicated Ricky Lamar Jones, 53, who was jailed after meeting with investigators about the death of his brother-in-law William Marcus Walters.
The GBI said Wednesday that Walters would have been 48 at the time of the killing, which they believe happened in late 1998.
Jones, also charged with concealing a death, married Walters sister, Irene, in 1979. Investigators think Walters may have been a drifter with West Coast ties, and that as far as they know no missing-persons report was ever made.
Authorities have been told Walters was shot to death.
It stayed a secret for a long, long time, said Todd Lowery, special agent in charge of the GBIs Eastman office.
We had a witness that came forward with information, and we started following up on that information and corroborating it as much as we could.
Jones, whose family runs a saw shop, lives on Sweet Home Church Road between Milan and Chauncey, about a dozen miles southeast of Eastman.
Investigators searched parts of Jones 40-acre property along Turnpike Creek but didnt find Walters remains.
And to be quite honest with you, I dont think we will, Lowery said.
Walters last known address was at a soup kitchen in Salinas, Calif. He also spent time in Kentucky and his native Ohio.
To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.