Identifying human remains on Golden Camp Road could take months

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - UPDATE March 12th, 2018:

The remains found in a wooded area on Golden Camp Road have been confirmed to be those of missing teen Latania Janell Carwell.


The investigation into human remains found in a wooded area outside a home on Golden Camp Road and Milledgeville Road could take months before authorities are able to deliver a positive match.  

A team of crime scene investigators from both Richmond and Columbia Counties, the county coroner and a forensic anthropologist from Atlanta spent all Friday sifting through bones found inside what's described as a shallow grave.  

"Once we collect all the remains, Mark Bowen in the coroner's office will take it to the GBI lab in Atlanta to be determined," said Lt. Glen Rahn, RCSO Internal Affairs.

Lt. Rahn told us the owner of the home in the 2200 block of Golden Camp Road was surveying his land when he discovered a bone sticking out of a shallow grave.   He added the home is rental property. NewsChannel 6 spoke with one neighbor who agreed the home has been empty.

"Oh my God, I was shocked.  I as in the house and my grandmother said she was going down the road to see what was going on," Melinda Sousa said. 

We also spoke with Coroner Mark Bowen who said once the remains are all collected he can begin working to identify the victim.  But it could take at least a year. 

"I'm going to search to see who might have a quicker DNA turn around," he said adding that he could get a private contractor to speed up the process.  That would take at least two months. 

NewsChanel 6 spoke with one man who said he was about to rent the home, but decided against it. 

"We spoke with the land lord. We walked through the house," Ray Montana said.  "We actually walked the perimeter of the property, because they have a big barbeque pit in the back.  They have a big barbeque pit in the back like two or three bodies can fit in it. But it's a bunch of ashes in it."

Montana told us when he heard the news, one word came to mind.

"Janell," he said.  "Janell's case is a personal case to me.  I organized a team and we were the first community organized team to go out there and search for Janell."

While the human remains are near the home of 16-year-old LaTania Janell Carwell and the location of where many searches took place along with her parent's truck, investigators said it is too early to tell. 
"We don't want to speculate," Lt. Rahn said. "You don't want to get anybody's hopes up or anything else. We just take it slow."

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins



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