WARRENTON, Ga. --- An investigation is under way after deer hunters found the body of a missing schoolteacher Friday in a wooded area of Warren County.
Coroner Paul Lowe identified the victim as Mary Beth Newsome, 58, who lived off Georgia Highway 80 in Glascock County. An autopsy was to be performed at the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur.
Mrs. Newsome, who was reported missing on Thanksgiving Day, was a sixth-grade language arts teacher for many years at Thomson Middle School.
"It's basically a coroner's investigation right now," Warren County Sheriff Joe Peebles told reporters Saturday. "We're just trying to assist them at this point."
Sheriff Peebles said there had been no rulings on the cause of death.
"At this time, we're just treating this as a death investigation," Mr. Lowe said.
There were no visible wounds on Mrs. Newsome's body, only some brier scratches on the lower parts of her legs, the coroner said. "We don't know the cause of death at this time."
Mr. Lowe said hunters discovered Mrs. Newsome's body in a thickly wooded area, off Georgia Highway 123 in what is referred to as the Shoals Community. She was lying face down in pine straw, fully clothed, he said.
Her body was found about 10 feet in front of her 2002 Toyota Camry, which had been driven down a narrow path, commonly used by deer hunters on four-wheel recreational vehicles, Sheriff Peebles said.
Authorities believe Mrs. Newsome had been dead about two days.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is aiding local authorities.
Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch said Mrs. Newsome was reported missing about 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day by her son-in-law. He placed a 911 call to the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department, which handles emergency calls for Glascock County residents.
The sheriff said Mrs. Newsome left her residence about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and never returned.