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Body found in Chattahoochee River identified by GBI, coroner says

The body of a man found in the Chattahoochee River Wednesday morning has been identified, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley.

On Friday, fingerprint results from the GBI identified the man as 19-year-old Jakharee Shafiffe McCallister. Worley said officials have tried to contact the family, but no one lives at the only address they have on file.

The autopsy is still pending as the GBI waits for blood results to come back, which could take up to three months, Worley said.

Initially, officials believed the body that was found was that of a middle-aged man.

“He’s younger than I expected,” Worley said over the phone to the Ledger-Enquirer on Friday.

McCallister was pronounced dead by Worley around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday after a pedestrian called police about a body in the river near the TSYS campus and 14th Street pedestrian bridge.

Fingerprint results weren’t supposed to be back until next Tuesday, according to Worley. Due to an increased amount of calls to the GBI about the body, they decided to rush the processing of his fingerprints.

Worley and other officials went through various methods locally in order to identify McCallister’s body, including going around to areas homeless people tend to gather and asking if they knew about McCallister.

Exploring all avenues of a person’s origin is standard in cases like this, according to Worley.

As of right now, McCallister’s death is still believed to be a drowning.

“We are still trying to get everything together. Just trying to put a puzzle together,” Worley said. “Even on my off days, I’m still working on it.”

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Tandra Smith is the Ledger-Enquirer’s newest reporter. A Georgia Southern University graduate, she’s covered everything from protests to hurricanes and more. Here in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley, she will focus on breaking and trending news.
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