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Remains identified as Hinesville man missing since July
HInesville police car

The bones found last month in a wooded area of Hinesville have been identified as a man who had been reported missing last year.

Hinesville Police Detective Jeff Davis said the remains belonged to Hinesville resident Rodney Nelson, whose family had filed a missing-persons report on him in July.

The cause of death has not been released pending the release of the medical examiner’s report.

Barbara Johnson, a biology teacher, was walking her dog in a heavily wooded drainage area between Pinefore Lane and Caines Road around 6 p.m. March 8, according to an incident report filed by HPD Officer Michael Ramirez, when she saw what appeared to be human bones.

Davis said Johnson saw a shoulder bone and what appeared to be a human skull farther into the drainage area.

According to the report, Johnson returned to her home nearby and called 911. When Ramirez arrived, Johnson showed him where the bones were. After inspecting the skull without touching it, Ramirez sealed off the area.

When Davis and Chief of Detectives Maj. Thomas Cribbs arrived, they collected bone fragments scattered around the area, filling several paper bags.

The next day, Davis, along with several detectives, returned and recovered more bone fragments that had been scattered throughout the area, possibly by wildlife. In addition to the bones, detectives found clothing and a handgun.

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