The body found burning off Interstate 20 in Social Circle late Thursday night has been identified as 36-year-old Akili Jabari Stewart of Stone Mountain. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, he was killed as a result of gunshot wounds.
A press release issue by the GBI confirms what Social Circle authorities have already released, that around 11:45 p.m. a motorist on I-20 called 911 to report what they believed was a brush fire near U.S. Highway 278 and 20. When firefighters began to extingush the blaze they found Stewart's body.
The Medical Examiner performed an autopsy of Stewart Saturday, revealed the cause of death was not the fire, but the gunshot wounds that occured prior to the blaze.
The Social Police Department, GBI Athens Regional Office, and the State Fire Marshall's Office continue to investigate. Because arson was involved in the crime, the State Fire Marshall issued a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible.
Authorities request anyone with information regarding this investigation to please contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (800) 597-TIPS (8477) or the GBI Athens Office at (706) 552-2309.