Family, friends wonder if skeletal remains belong to man missing since 2016

Cold Case Project

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – After someone walking in the woods in west Augusta discovered human remains, family and friends of a missing man now want to know whether those remains belong to their loved one last seen in 2016.

Joseph Summerall went missing in August of 2016. A missing person’s report filed by his father with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office states he dropped Summerall off at home after work on August 13, 2016 and didn’t see or hear from him again. Now, the family is on alert after learning about skeletal remains found very close to Summerall’s home.

“He didn’t show up for work for the next two days, so his father went to check on him and there was no sign of him and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since,” said Amanda Teston, a longtime family friend.

That home Summerall rented a room in is located off Wrightsboro Road on Maddox Drive, just 1.6 miles from where someone found skeletal remains around the 3900 block of Wrightsboro Road, near Jimmie Dyess Parkway Sunday. Teston said she and Summerall’s family reached out to missing persons organization Project Drew after seeing the proximity of both cases.

“I don’t believe that he’s just walking around out there somewhere. I believe something happened to him and somebody knows what happened to him. His family needs closure, his kids need closure, his dad, his mom.”

Summerall was 37 when he went missing. He would be 41 now, with a birthday May 4. He’s described as bald with blue eyes standing at 6′ and weighing 220 pounds.

His landlord said she saw him too on August 13, the same day he was dropped off by his father. He was wearing brown khaki pants and a blue T-shirt.

Another interesting piece to this case, which is still active with the sheriff’s office, is Summerall’s son’s connection. Jeremy Summerall went missing four months later in November of 2016 at the age of 16. He was located three years later working at a business in Evans.

Teston told us she talked with him. “I’ve spoken to Jeremy to find out what was going on. He said that he doesn’t have a relationship with his dad, that he never had a relationship with his dad and that he doesn’t particularly care for him too much, so I left that alone. But it was very, very strange that he went missing right after Joe.”

Teston added that Joseph Summerall didn’t cash his last two paychecks and the family received reports that he was killed and left behind the Lowes on Peach Orchard Road where the pond is located. They are all waiting on a positive ID on those remains found on Wrightsboro Road.

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