SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — The search for a man accused of murder is in its third day and the pool of reward money for his capture is growing.
The sheriff’s offices in Walton and Morgan counties each put up $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of 39-year-old Jerome Ray Mobley.
Mobley is wanted on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and two counts of first-degree child cruelty. He is accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife at a home on Knox Chapel Road east of Social Circle on Wednesday morning.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said he believes Mobley may be injured. The couple’s two children were inside the home at the time of the attack, but both are safe now.
Chapman said there were two distinct blood trails inside the home, and investigators found blood in the truck they believe Mobley used to flee the scene. The truck was found in Morgan County about a mile and a half from the home, which is near the Hard Labor Creek State Park.
Officers searching the nearby woods for Mobley found a belt, covered with blood. They believe he likely used that belt to form a tourniquet to staunch his bleeding.
Chapman said he did not know if the wound was so severe to require medical care.
The U.S. Marshals Service has been asked to join the search due to the possibility Mobley left the area or even the state.
The Barrow, Gwinnett, Morgan and Walton sheriff’s offices have contributed to the search effort, as have agents from the Georgia State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Corrections and Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Doraville police officers also have been engaged in the search. In all, more than 100 officers and agents have participated.
The Social Circle City Schools have curtailed outdoor activities until Mobley’s capture.
Mobley was arrested in the past for domestic violence, and Chapman said the victim had protective orders. He also said her family was trying to have Mobley’s bail revoked from previous arrests.
He is considered “armed and dangerous,” according to sheriffs in both Morgan and Walton counties, and anyone who sees Mobley or has information about him is asked to call 911.
Walton Tribune Managing Editor Cosby Woodruff contributed to this report.