Thief discovers missing man's body in wall of motel

The body of a missing man was found in an abandoned Spalding County motel after someone breaking into the property stumbled upon it, the sheriff's office said Wednesday.

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Timothy Johnson was last seen Dec. 6, sheriff's Capt. Dwayne Jones said. Griffin police recovered his car the next day at Crestview Baptist Church in the 1600 block of North Expressway.

Investigators searched the property on three occasions and cadaver dogs searched the area twice, according to Jones. Johnson was nowhere to be found.

His body was not discovered until Sunday, when the thief came across it at a former Howard Johnson also in the 1600 block of North Expressway, authorities said.

He broke into the motel about 3 p.m., found the body near a wall cutout that exposed copper pipes and plumbing and left the scene, according to the sheriff's office.

The thief called 911 about three hours later, Jones said. His name and his whereabouts are unknown.

Griffin police Lt. Joe Hudson was called to the motel and followed a foul odor to one of the rooms, authorities said.

Hudson later notified fire officials, who located the body.

“Identification documents found on the remains indicated (it was) Timothy Johnson,” the sheriff’s office said.

The body was taken to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy and positive identification.

“All indications are that the body recovered is Timothy Johnson,” Jones said. “No foul play is suspected at this time, but investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy.”

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