SCREVEN COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — Caution tape still surrounds a home on Old Poor Robin Road in Sylvania. The house went up in flames the morning of November 23. When the Screven County Fire Department arrived, a body was found inside.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) tells NewsChannel 6 the fire was arson.
“It was very shocking,” Betsy Thompson said. “This is right in our neighborhood. I’m just not used to that.”
The body has been autopsied but not identified, according to the Screven County Coroner’s Office.
Betsy Thompson’s son used to work for the man who lived at the house. She says the owner ran a landscaping business. Rows of plants can be seen in the yard.
“He’s been in this neighborhood for years.”
Just hours after the fire, the Screven County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle on Whitehill Road. When deputies arrived, they discovered two bodies in a pond on the property. The bodies have been identified as 41-year-old Amanda Marie Atkins and 60-year-old Todd Wilson Lee.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Tommy Sheppard said. “Everyone around here knows everybody. Nothing like that ever happens.”
GBI Special Agent in Charge Chris DeMarco tells NewsChannel 6 he does believe the incidents are related.
“Everything is preliminary right now, but we don’t see any connection between both incidents,” DeMarco said.”
“I just hope that they find out what happened and who did it so people can have some closure and so people on the road can know for sure what was going on,” Thompson added.
GBI is still awaiting autopsy results for all three individuals to determine causes of death. The agency is working with the Screven County Sheriff’s Office and Screven County Coroner’s Office as part of the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the GBI at (912) 871-1121.