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Posted: May 8, 2017 6:51 a.m.

UPDATE: CPD identifies murder victim burned in woods

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Benjamin Marcus Johnson

UPDATE (May 8, 9:45 a.m.): COVINGTON, Ga. – The Covington Police Department (CPD) has identified the man who was murdered and his body left burning in the woods Saturday.

CPD Captain Ken Malcom identified the man as 62-year-old Michael Avon Williams. According to Malcom, Williams was homeless.

The Covington News will provide additional updates as they become available.

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COVINGTON, Ga. – A 39-year-old man is in custody charged with murdering a man and burning his body in a wooded area of Covington Saturday.

According to a press release from the Covington Police Department (CPD) Public Information Officer Allan Seebaran, shortly after 5 p.m. May 6, two people flagged down a Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO)deputy and pointed out a large amount of smoke in the wooded area near Washington Street and Old Brown Bridge Road. NCSO reportedly immediately passed the information along to CPD.

According to the release, CPD responded to the area and found the burning body of a male in the woods. The body also reportedly appeared to have some type of head injury. Other officers responded to the area and began a search for the suspects or suspects.

According to the release, officers spoke with two witnesses and subsequently, Benjamin Marcus Johnson was identified as the suspect. Following an intense investigation, officers received information that Johnson would be traveling in a vehicle.

According to the release, at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, the vehicle Johnson was traveling in was stopped by law enforcement near the Family Dollar at 3250 Hwy-81 in Covington and he was taken into custody.

Following an interview, Johnson was booked into the Newton County Jail charged with Murder, Concealing the Death of Another and Arson.

According to the release, the Newton County Coroner’s office is currently working with the state medical examiner’s office to determine the exact cause of death. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of all family members.

The case is being worked jointly by CPD and the GBI.

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