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Victim's car found in Covington
Social Circle police chief finds missing car at Home Depot
Meeting the Press
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mike Ayers, left, and Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman meet reporters during a news conference Friday afternoon, April 6, 2018, in Monroe. - photo from the Walton County Sheriff's Office

COVINGTON, Ga. — The car of a person buried in a shallow grave was found at a store in Covington.

Social Circle police Chief Tyrone Oliver was shopping Saturday when he saw the car that was the subject of a be-on-the-lookout notice.

“He’s the one that found it,” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said Monday morning.

Two men were charged with murder after the discovery of a body outside a home at 5999 Walker Bennett Road in unincorporated Loganville.

Jonathan Britt Lester and Kolbie Hadden Watters, both 21, were charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

Roger Gene Watters, 44, was charged with tampering with evidence. He is the father of Kolbie Watters.

Police in Asheville, North Carolina, arrested Lester. He lives at the home where the body was found Friday morning. Chapman said the body was wrapped in cellophane, then covered in a tarpaulin. The remains were turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has not identified the victim. The Sheriff’s Office has said he is from outside Walton County.

“We believe the information that we have is when they murdered the boy, they disposed of the car,” Chapman said Monday.

That happened in the parking lot of The Home Depot at 13171 Highway 142 NW.

Oliver said Social Circle police had been helping the Walton County Sheriff’s Office anyway, providing manpower and additional support to what originally was a missing-persons case. But he happened to be out shopping Saturday when his work life interjected because the car’s presence immediately struck him as odd.

“How many 1999 Toyota Corollas with a black bumper and a black gas cap could there be?” he said.

“It was just parked right there when you first come into Home Depot.”

Oliver said the car stood out because the Corolla “was parked right by itself so to speak, not just because I knew it was the car.”

The chief said he saw no obvious signs of foul play.

“It was parked in the parking spot correctly,” he said. “It wasn’t parked funny or anything like that.”

Oliver said he doesn’t know how the car got to Covington, or where the suspects went from Newton County.

“I’m guessing the investigation will determine where it went from there,” he said.

The FBI, Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency have been involved in investigating the case, along with the GBI and numerous other state and local agencies in Georgia and North Carolina.