2 bodies found in Crisp County, one burned beyond recognition

The GBI found a second body Thursday in the woods near a cotton field in Cordele where a badly burned body was found in a smoldering vehicle the day before.

The second body is of a black male, but authorities are not releasing the identity until the family is notified, according to a GBI news release.

A passerby jogging near Blackshear Road in Cordele noticed the vehicle fire and alerted authorities about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, said Trebor Randle, assistant special agent in charge of the Americus GBI office.

Officials discovered what appeared to be a burning Ford Explorer. They are trying to trace the damaged vehicle to its owner to learn more about how it wound up ablaze in a cotton field.

“It’s in really bad shape,” Randle said.

Investigators initially were unable to determine whether the burned victim inside was male or female, she said.

Officers do not believe the vehicle could have been involved in an accident and caught fire.

“We definitely suspect foul play,” said Danny Jackson, special agent in charge of the GBI office in Americus, who is working with the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.

The burned remains were taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy. DNA and dental records will be used to try to identify the body, Randle said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the arson investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 276-2600 or the GBI at (229) 931-2439.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.