Fingerprints used to ID man found dead in a bath tub in burned Macon house

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GBI medical examiners determined the identity of a man whose body was discovered earlier this week inside a house that burned in March.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones told The Telegraph the GBI used fingerprints to identify 66-year-old Tommie Giles, whose body was found covered with a piece of plywood in the bath tub Monday afternoon.

“The guy that owns the house, him and another crew were going in to clean up the house” and found Giles’ body, Jones said.

A GBI autopsy determined that Giles was “not burned at all, just in a state of decomposition,” Jones said, adding that toxicology and histology tests would help medical examiners determine how he died.

The house at 3510 Flamingo Drive, between Houston Avenue and Broadway, belongs to Thomas Roy Lee, according to the Bibb County Tax Assessor’s website.

Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said the cause of the March 16 fire was undetermined, but it is likely to have started on the back porch.

“It penetrated through inside of the structure itself, causing significant damage which actually kind of burned itself through,” Riggins said. “There was an enormous amount of smoke and heat inside the house.”

Asked how Giles’ body was overlooked, Riggins said debris from the ceiling fell and obscured the firefighters’ views as they performed routine primary and secondary searches of the house using both visual observation and thermal cameras.

“In this particular case, there was debris falling down, ceilings falling down, stuff in the house falling everywhere,” Riggins said. “This bathroom was filled with debris and this person was under all of it.”