The body of a Fort Valley man dependent on a wheelchair for mobility was found early Friday in a hunting camp about five miles south of Thomaston.
There were no obvious signs of how 33-year-old Troymaine Johnson, a paraplegic, died, said Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore.
Kilgore said he expects pending lab results from a GBI autopsy to shed light on what happened to Johnson.
His body was found a few hours after a woman he’d once been in relationship with told her relatives that she had abandoned Johnson somewhere in the woods.
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The woman, Ruby Kate Coursey, is being held on a misdemeanor probation violation as authorities work to determine what happened to Johnson. She has not been charged in connection with his death.
“This case is unique in that it’s not a who done it but it’s a how it was done,” Kilgore said. “That’s our challenge at this point.”
“We know who’s responsible for leaving him there. We just need to know what happened to him. ... We’re depending on the science to lead us there,” he said.
The night of March 14, Coursey picked up Johnson from his Fort Valley home where he lived with his grandmother to go for a ride, or possible a trip to the store. His wheelchair was left behind.
Family members told authorities that Coursey was capable of lifting and carrying Johnson, Kilgore said.
On March 16, Coursey’s brother and sister-in-law called Thomaston police late that evening based on what Coursey had told them about leaving Johnson out in the woods.
Coursey was able to give police a vague description of the wooded area in southeast Upson County, and sheriff’s deputies were contacted and began a search.
Deputies discovered a main gate of the hunting camp off Triune Mill Road had been crashed through. Paint on the gate matched the color of a red Saturn VUE that Coursey had borrowed and was known to have been driving, Kilgore said.
Johnson’s body was found lying next to a hunting camper about 150 yards from the camp’s main gate.
“We feel like he was alive when he was dumped there,” Kilgore said.