Autopsy completed on body found in Warm Springs grave

benw@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 19, 2013 

A preliminary autopsy was completed on the woman believed to be Annie Belle Garrett, but results won’t be released because no arrest has been made in the death.

The body of the Shiloh woman was recovered Wednesday from a shallow grave on property in rural Warm Springs where she and her boyfriend had stayed before she went missing. The property belongs to the family of the boyfriend.

Wayne Smith, agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said agents are still following up leads in the case that stretches 20 to 25 from Shiloh to Warm Springs in Meriwether County.

“I don’t want to release any kind of cause of death or anything like that because we don’t have an arrest made on it,” Smith said late Thursday. “There are some things that are still pending on it too like blood chemistry and tissue.”

Smith said the boyfriend, who was not identified, has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm but no one has been charged in the death.

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley said the man is being held in the Harris County Jail on a non-related charged. “We are holding him until they can show the cause of death which is through the autopsy,” the sheriff said.

Jolley said his officers assisted in the investigation conducting interviews and helping to processed the crime scene. “It actually happened in the city limits of Shiloh and in Meriwether County,” he said.

While the preliminary autopsy has been completed, Smith said no positive identification has been made yet on the woman.

“We don’t have positive ID yet because that actually is going to be done in conjunction with a family member,” Smith said.

That process is expected to be done early today. “Instead of them going to Atlanta, we are just going to do it once she got returned back here,” Smith said.

Authorities thought the identification process would occur Thursday in Atlanta where the autopsy was completed, but there apparently was a misunderstanding, he said.

“I’m 99 percent sure this is her,” Smith said. “We just don’t have that other 1 percent to be absolutely sure.”

Smith isn’t sure when an arrest will be made in the case.

“I’m not exactly sure how fast that will go,” he said. “We are not at the point where we can make an arrest. I don’t know what the time line will be. We are working on it. We still have a number of leads we have to run out.”

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