Remains found earlier this week in Burke County have been positively identified as those of missing Florida priest Father Rene Robert, the GBI announced this afternoon.
Crime lab technicians in Atlanta reviewed Rev. Rene Robert’s dental records this morning to positively identify the body found earlier this week in Burke County.
The GBI Crime Lab could not initially identify the body during an autopsy due its condition. Officials would not elaborate on the condition, but did say he died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Meanwhile, Steven James Murray, 28, sits in the Burke County jail on a charge of malice murder. The charge was formally announced by Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. Immediately after Murray was denied bond during his first appearance in court.
Multiple states have gotten involved in the disappearance of Robert since he was last seen alive in Jacksonville, Fla., on April 10. This morning Morgan said there are indications Robert was killed on April 11, two days before Murray was arrested in Aiken County and exactly one week before he led Georgia law enforcement officers to the body in a wooded lot off Highway 56 Spur in Burke County.
“There is no doubt and evidence he was killed in Burke County,” Morgan said.
Officials are also conducting lab testing to determine what type of gun Murray used. When he was arrested in Aiken County, he was found in possession of multiple guns, but according to warrants, those had been reported stolen from a Wire Road home set on fire earlier that day.
Morgan stated that Murray told agents the gun he used, but they will be using ballistics testing to positively identify the type of projectile.
Murray now faces charges in four counties and three states. Morgan said it will be up to the district attorney’s office to determine if additional charges will be added in Burke County.
District Attorney Ashley Wright said this morning that her office had received Murray’s file but she could not speculate about additional charges at this time.