New details are emerging in the grisly discovery of human remains recently found in the backyard of a house in the Deveraux community of Hancock County, The Union-Recorder has learned.
The man accused of the brutal crimes, meanwhile, awaits extradition from South Carolina to Georgia for court proceedings that could lead to a murder trial.
One of the newest developments is that the man suspected of killing and then dismembering the body of 29-year-old Justin Yeng Xlong was in the possession of a chainsaw when he was arrested in Aiken County, South Carolina on the night of June 1, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspect in the murder case, meanwhile, has been identified as Christopher Demmon, who formerly had lived in Baldwin County, but had shared a residence with the victim for two nights before the victim was reported missing.
Demmon, who is charged with felony murder, was arrested on unrelated charges by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office after deputies discovered him walking and acting strangely outside a yellow jeep in a residential subdivision.
Demmon had parked a yellow jeep sideways in the roadway and was blocking both lanes of traffic, which led to deputies being called.
That yellow jeep, which had a temporary Indiana paper tag on it, turned out to be the same one that authorities in Georgia had issued a lookout for on the night the human remains were found in the backyard of the residence on the 200 block of Main Street in the Deveraux.
Demmon was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the Aiken County Jail in Aiken County, South Carolina.
Demmon, who has an extensive criminal background, including a number of incidents in Baldwin County where he resided for many years, awaits extradition from South Carolina to Georgia on the murder warrant, according to a spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
Subsequently, a murder warrant was taken out on Saturday, June 5, against Demmon by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The GBI Region 6 Office in Milledgeville was called about 7:30 p.m. — about a half-hour after the human remains were discovered, according to Mary Chandler, special agent in-charge of the local GBI field office. Deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the residence following a 911 telephone call from a man whose son owns the house where the human remains were found.
The father, who owns and operates his own business and employed both Xlong and Demmon, made the discovery of the remains. He has spoken to the newspaper on several occasions since June 4 when he found the human remains of Xlong wrapped in clear plastic behind one of two sheds in the backyard.
The man, who has requested that his last name and the name of his business not be used in news stories, discovered the body of the victim, who had previously lived in Eatonton with other family members.
“He was trying to turn his life around; he really was,” the man recalled. “He didn’t deserve what happened to him. He really didn’t. He wanted to stop using drugs and he wanted to stay away from anybody who was doing drugs.”
He said that was one of the reasons he hired Xlong.
“I needed help and I didn’t mind giving Justin a chance to turn his life around,” he said. “He seemed like a really nice guy, and he was a good worker.”
He remembers the man accused of killing Xlong, too.
He said Christopher Demmon used to work for him several years ago and that the two met up again on the Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend.
The businessman said he was eating lunch at the Milledgeville Mall when Christopher walked by and the two struck up a conversation.
He said Demmon asked him for a job and that he told him to report to work the following morning, which would have been the Thursday before the long three-day Memorial Day weekend.
He said he has talked with the GBI on several occasions and told them everything he has shared with the newspaper.
“I don’t mind saying what I know about this case to anyone,” he said.
Xlong had agreed to stay there and help do odds and end jobs, like scrap the paint off the windows, etc., according to Gary.
“I needed somebody to do things like that and since Justin needed a place to stay, I agreed to let him stay there,” Gary said. “I told him if he did a good job that I would think about renting the house to him for between $400 and $500 a month.”
He never got the chance to finish that job and uphold his end of the agreement.
The said he knew something was strange and didn’t add up when neither Xlong nor Demmon showed up for work on the Tuesday morning following the long holiday weekend.
It was at that time that he said he reported Xlong missing to deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information about the murder case is asked to call the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office in Sparta at 706-444-6471 or the GBI Region 6 Office in Milledgeville at 478-445-4173.