A Crawford County man has been charged with murder in the death of a man who was reported missing in April.
Jeffrey Averett, 48, was arrested Monday in the death of Daryl Oxford, 39, formerly of Gray, according to a GBI news release Tuesday.
A ranger found Oxford’s decomposed body wrapped in bed linens while the ranger was patrolling the Camp Benjamin Hawkins Boy Scout reservation, located north of Byron, on April 21.
An autopsy confirmed Oxford’s identity and determined that he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
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Oxford was last seen alive April 9 at Averett’s home on Pottery Road, south of Lizella. Investigators found evidence early in the investigation suggesting that Averett killed Oxford at his home during a dispute on April 9, according to the GBI.
The two men were acquaintances, said Gary Rothwell, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Perry field office.
“We believe Oxford was staying at (Averett’s) residence in the days leading up to the shooting,” he said.
Investigators still are working to determine details of the dispute between Averett and Oxford. They also are trying to confirm the caliber and make of the gun used to shoot Oxford, Rothwell said.
Averett was arrested April 13 on a kidnapping charge associated with his allegedly detaining a person while disposing of Oxford’s body, Rothwell said. He was held at the Crawford County jail while investigators looked for Oxford’s remains.
“We had an area where we thought he’d brought the body,” Rothwell said.
The area was difficult to search due to its size, roads and wooded areas. The ranger found Oxford’s remains in a wooded area just south of Jordan Road, near where investigators thought the body might have been left, Rothwell said.
Averett, who also is charged with concealing a death, is being held at the Crawford jail. No bond has been set, Rothwell said.
Anyone with information about Oxford’s death is asked to call the GBI at (478) 987-4545 or (800) 547-TIPS.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.