Two dead men found in the back seat of a burning rental car early Sunday in rural Crawford County were shot multiple times and killed before the car was set ablaze, authorities said Wednesday.
The men’s identities remain unknown, said J.T. Ricketson, the agent in charge of the GBI’s Perry office.
An autopsy on Wednesday revealed that one of the slain men was a black man. The race of the other victim hasn’t been determined.
The two sustained “pretty heavy burns,” Ricketson said.
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Meanwhile, the mystery behind what led to the men’s deaths had GBI agents searching for clues in Macon, Houston and Peach counties.
The rental car the two were in was found still burning about 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the edge of a forest behind a vacant farm house on Marshall Mill Road, about four miles south of U.S. 80 and Lizella.
The property where the house is lies west of Echeconnee Creek in an area roughly equidistant from Macon, Roberta and Byron.
Authorities say it appears the 2015 Kia Soul, rented in Warner Robins a few weeks ago, was ditched there because it was an out-of-the-way spot.
The person who rented it was not one of the victims but has provided the GBI with “a ton of leads,” Ricketson said.
Ricketson said “a number of individuals” had used the car in a span of days and that investigators were trying to track down those people.
He said DNA comparisons and dental records may prove helpful in identifying the victims.
To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.