DEVERAUX, Ga. — One Hancock County resident says it was an unforgettable sight, and one he hopes he never sees again.
Gary, who asked that his last name not be revealed, is a businessman in Hancock County. He found the grisly remains of a dismembered human body in the backyard of a residence in Hancock County on Friday.
“I found the body parts of this human being,” he told The Union-Recorder on Monday afternoon.
He thinks he knows the man whose body he discovered shortly before 7 p.m. Friday in the backyard of a residence owned by his son.
“I walked around inside the house and filled up three tote boxes of clothes and other items,” he said before the unthinkable happened.
He said he also found the person’s phone.
That was one of the things that struck him as odd because he said the man whose body he believes he discovered stayed on his phone.
“It was laying on a blowup mattress when I found it,” he said.
He said he later walked out the side door under the carport and couldn’t believe the odor he smelled.
He said he later walked out into the backyard trying to figure out the source of the smell.
“I walked the center of the yard,” he said. “There are two sheds on each side of the yard.”
He later walked to the left-side shed, opened the door and looked around, and got a stronger whiff of the odor.
“I then walked around to the back of that shed and saw a piece of a sheet of the clear plastic like we had used to paint the house,” he said. “I could see there was something inside. And I thought, ‘what is it.’”
Gary said it was full of maggots.
He said the plastic wrap was up against the backside of the shed.
“I first looked at it hard from about eight yards away,” he said.
“I thought, it couldn’t be a body because a body is kind of oblong and has hands, feet, legs, and arms …,” he said.
He said he concluded that there were two people missing and that he felt he should call authorities to check it out.
Within a few minutes, he said personnel from the Grady Emergency Medical Services came to the residence and wanted to know if there was anything they could do because they heard somebody might be in distress.
“I told them to walk behind that shed and see if there is anything you can do for them,” Gary said. “They came back from there with their eyes wide open and said there’s a body in the plastic.”
Deputies later arrived.
Special agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene, but it was early Saturday morning before the crime scene investigation could begin.
The two-bedroom brick house, located on Main Street in what is known as the Deveraux Community of Hancock County, was where he allowed a man to live whom he hired about four or five weeks ago to work at the business he owns and operates.
That same man is believed to be the murder victim, although authorities have not yet made a positive identification of the dead person.
He said he reported the same man missing to deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office after he failed to show up for work the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
He said the last time he saw the man alive was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
“He called me about 10:30 that night while I was in my recliner,” he said. “I was almost asleep.”
The employee wanted his new boss to know that he had finished a side job and had gotten paid $200.
He said the man also told him that he had a check for him.
He said the phone conversation ended with him telling his newest employee to have a good weekend and to stay out of trouble.
When Tuesday came, it was time for everyone to return to work.
But two of his employees, both new hires, didn’t show up.
One of them turned out to be a man named Christopher Demmon.
He’s the same man now jailed in Aiken County, South Carolina on charges and who has been charged with malice murder by Georgia authorities in connection with the dismemberment of the body that Gary found on the property owned by his son.
He said he first met Demmon about seven years ago.
Since he was short manpower at work, he said he hired Demmon on the spot, but he only worked for a couple of days.
He said the other employee who didn’t show up for work last week had been in trouble with the law in the past and that he did illegal drugs, but now wanted to straighten up his life.
“He was really trying to turn his life around,” Gary said.
But when he didn’t show up for work last Tuesday, he called his son and told him he was going to the house to fire him and take his belongings outside and sit them under the carport.
That’s also the day he said he reported the man missing.
“I searched the property looking for him and when I reported him missing, they (deputies) searched the two-acre property, too,” he said.
He said the man had a yellow Jeep with a black top — similar to the one that turned up in Aiken County, South Carolina where Demmon was arrested.
Gary said the man he liked so much described himself as a chef and has previously worked at some of the Asian restaurants in the Milledgeville area. That same man also said his father had taught him how to weld.
“Everything I taught him or showed him, he learned real quick,” Gary said. “He was very eager to learn. He wanted why we did this and why we did that. He was always asking questions. And he was real good working his cellphone. He learned how to order certain parts for the business and all.”
Gary said he felt sorry for his newest hire and wanted to help him.
Since he knew the man didn’t have a place to live, he first offered him his cabin on Lake Sinclair to stay in temporarily.
The man stayed there four or five days.
One night he called the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office to report that he believed someone was prowling around the cabin, but deputies didn’t see anyone.
He said that was when he offered the man an opportunity to rent the brick house that his son owns on Main Street in Deveraux.
The man worked odd jobs in exchange for a place to stay.
“I told him to tidy up the place for four weeks and if he did that that I would rent the house to him for $500 a month,” Gary recalled. “He was very thankful.”