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UPDATE: GBI investigating Yellow River body

UPDATE (Nov. 16, 4:45 p.m.): Porterdale Police Chief Jason Cripps confirmed with The Covington News that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations is looking into the death of Ryan Hacker, 40, who was found floating in the Yellow River Sunday. 

According to a PPD incident report, Officer Matt Munger attempted to arrest Hacker Nov. 3 for driving on a suspended license. Hacker reportedly resisted arrest and was tased. He "got away" and his vehicle was impounded, according to the report. A "small yellow pill" was located and believed to be a Schedule IV controlled substance. Warrants were set to be issued for his arrest on charges of driving while license suspended/revoked, obstructing justice and violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act. 

"I notified the GBI immediately once the body was pulled from the river to be fair, equitable and transparent," Cripps said.

"It's unfortunate anytime anybody loses their life, especially one of our citizens," he said. 

Cripps also told The News that the Highway 81 bridge was shut down while officers worked to retrieve the body in an attempt to provide privacy and "try to mitigate any embarrassment."

He said crews worked to "treat the situation with respect."


UPDATE (Nov. 16, 12:20 p.m.): Ryan Hacker, 40, of Porterdale, has been identified as the body found in the Yellow River, Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis told The Covington News today. 

Porterdale Body
PPD, Newton County coroner and DNR personnel work to retrieve the body out of the river. - photo by Staff Report

Davis said the cause and manner of death were pending a few more tests, but he would release that information when he could. 


UPDATE (Nov. 14, 9:45 a.m.): Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis said a tentative identification has been made in the body found in the Yellow River in Porterdale, but the information could not be released until confirmation was made. 

He said there were a few investigative things that had to be finished before the identity could be released, and he was hoping to have it released by the end of the day Tuesday. 


PORTERDALE, Ga. - A body was found in the Yellow River near the dam in Porterdale Sunday, Porterdale Police Chief Jason Cripps told The Covington News today. 

Cripps said it was a team effort between Newton County Fire Department, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Newton County Coroner's Office to remove the body from the water. 

The body was transported by the coroner's office for autopsy and Cripps said the coroner's office was conducting the investigation. 

Cripps said there have not been any missing person reports filed and he could not identify the person found. The body was located by a person attending a wedding at the Porterdale Mill Lofts.