WINDER, Ga. -- An autopsy conducted Tuesday determined that a man whose body was found encased in concrete and buried in the back yard of a home in Winder died from multiple blows to the back of the head.
But a spokesman for the Winder Police Department did not immediately know if a medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
“We’re assuming the injuries weren’t self-inflicted,” Winder police Officer Chris Cooper said. “We don’t see those kinds of repeated injuries as being accidental.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner possibly determined whether the unidentified man’s death was a homicide or not, but investigators who attended the autopsy at the GBI’s State Crime Lab in Decatur had not returned as of late Tuesday.
Instead, they made a stop in Gwinnett County to look into a U-Haul truck or trailer that had been rented by two persons of interest in the death investigation, according to Cooper.
Criminal charges are pending against twin brothers who told their father they had buried a dog in the yard of his home in the 200 block of Sixth Avenue.
Christopher Lynn Cormier and William Joseph Cormier III, 31, both of Pensacola, Fla., are each held on suspicion of concealing a person’s death, but have not yet been formally charged, Winder police said.
The brothers were placed into custody after the body was found Monday afternoon.
The body had yet to be identified as of Tuesday morning, but it’s believed to be that of a man who reported missing nearly a month ago in Pensacola.
A state medical examiner is using dental records, fingerprints and a tattoo in an attempt to make a positive identification.
“We are working diligently to process additional evidence and hope to have more answers soon,” Cooper said.
The 30-year-old man reported as missing in Florida was supposed to travel to Winder with the Cormiers, but when the brothers arrived at their father’s home three weeks ago the man was not with them, Cooper said. They explained their traveling companion decided to live somewhere else, but that they kept his dog, Cooper said.
About noon Monday, Winder police received a call from Pensacola authorities regarding the missing Florida man, with information he left the state with the Cormiers and the intended destination was the home of the brothers’ father.
When investigators arrived at the home on Sixth Avenue, they noticed something had recently been buried.
Police said the Cormier brothers told their father they killed their friend’s dog because they didn’t like it, and they buried the animal in the yard. But Winder investigators were suspicious of the story and obtained a search warrant to dig.
Authorities used heavy machinery to excavate the site and found a plastic storage bin encased in concrete. After cutting away some of the concrete, they discovered a body inside.
The entire block of concrete was shipped to the GBI’s State Crime Lab.
The Cormier brothers have requested attorneys and are not assisting in the investigation, according to the police spokesman.
Authorities have 48 hours to charge or release them, but Cooper said he expects the brothers will each be charged with the felony crime of concealing a death so that they can be held while the investigation continues.
The GBI is assisting in the investigation and investigators from Pensacola arrived in Winder on Monday.