Across the area

Body of missing man found buried in Aiken


Local investigators and FBI agents believe they have discovered the remains of an Atlanta man missing for nearly nine years.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said in a news release that investigators believe the human remains found buried at 169 Nautilus St.  in Aiken  are those of James Thomas Mills.

The FBI joined sheriff’s deputies from Richmond and Aiken counties in the discovery of the body about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Mills was reported missing on July 23, 2001, in Richmond County.

He was visiting friends in Augusta at the time of his disappearance, Peebles said.

An autopsy will be conducted by the Aiken County Coroner’s Office to confirm the identification.

Because the investigation is ongoing, investigators would not release any additional information Friday, Peebles said.

Cars broken into on Peach Orchard Road

Cars belonging to employees of Lowe's and Goodwill, both on Peach Orchard Road, were broken into between Wednesday night and Friday morning, according to Richmond County sheriff's reports.

The victims included four employees of Lowe's and one from Goodwill. In all cases, windows were either broken or pried open. Three victims reported CD players stolen, police said.

The break-ins apparently occurred between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 12:23 a.m. Friday, the reports said.

SRS to donate $5,000 to Aiken Red Cross

The Aiken County chapter of the American Red Cross will receive a $5,000 donation today from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions to help with local disaster preparedness, prevention and response actions, according to a news release.

The Aiken chapter is celebrating its Heroes campaign and CPR Awareness Week. The check will be presented at the chapter at 1314 Pine Log Road during a community CPR class at noon.

Pastor robbed by men armed with knives

A Fort Valley, Ga., pastor was robbed Wednesday after giving four women a ride to the 1700 block of Meadow Street, according to an incident report.

Oscar Lee Smith Jr., 65, told officers that when he reached Meadow Street several male suspects approached the vehicle. One placed a knife under Smith's throat and demanded money, police said.

Early voting to begin in Columbia County

Columbia County will begin early voting for the July 20 general primary election next week.

Early and absentee voting runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through July 9 at the Columbia County Board of Elections office, 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, in Evans.

All voters must present one of the six forms of photo identification required under Georgia law. Those without the required identification must cast a provisional ballot.

Advance voting runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 12-16 at the same location. For more information, call (706) 868-3355.

Man charged with growing marijuana

A North Augusta man has been arrested after police said they found more than 20 marijuana plants growing inside a home.

Lane Alexander Speers, 30, of the 500 block of Tanager Drive, was charged with manufacturing marijuana and manufacturing marijuana within half a mile of a park, according to Lt. Tim Pearson of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

On May 27, Allstar Real Estate told authorities that one of its rental homes appeared to have been burglarized. A door of the home in the 1900 block of Bunting Drive appeared damaged, but no one was home, according to an incident report.

Officers found more than 20 marijuana plants scattered throughout the residence.

Warrants were obtained for Speers' arrest after officers learned that he maintained the home. Speers turned himself in Thursday, Pearson said.

Burglars made victims take off their trousers

Three men kicked in the door of an Augusta apartment Thursday, but when they found nothing worth stealing they made the male victims remove their pants, according to an incident report.

Six victims were in the apartment on East Telfair Street when the men entered shortly before 3 a.m., brandishing handguns. One victim told officers the home invaders never said anything but immediately started searching the apartment, police said.