Wife of slain Wilkes County man commits suicide outside Georgia Bureau of Investigation office

The wife of a slain Washington, Ga., man killed herself outside the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Columbus on Thursday.

Brenda Dent shot herself to death in a car parked across the street from the GBI office  just before she was to take a polygraph test, Wilkes County Sheriff Mark A. Moore said.

Her body was found at about 1 p.m., shortly after a male friend told investigators that Brenda Dent had confessed to him that she killed Fermer Corman “Butch” Dent in their home in Washington, according to Moore.

Dent was a physician assistant at Athens Orthopedic Clinic.

Brenda Dent was the person who reported she found her husband dead from a gunshot wound on Sunday evening.

The murder probe — the first in Wilkes County in more than a decade — led investigators to Thomaston, where Brenda Dent’s male friend lives, Moore said.

The unidentified man and Brenda Dent were both scheduled to give statements and take polygraph tests at the GBI’s Columbus office Thursday afternoon, the sheriff said.

Moore called the man a “possible boyfriend” of Brenda Dent’s, but that hadn’t been confirmed, he said.

“The male friend showed up and told officers that Mrs. Dent made admissions about her involvement in her husband’s death,” Moore said.

“Shortly afterward, she was found in her vehicle across the street from the GBI’s office where she had shot herself with a handgun,” he said.

The Muscogee County coroner confirmed Brenda Dent died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Moore.

Despite Brenda Dent’s purported confession, investigators continued to gather evidence to determine exactly what happened in both the murder and suicide.

“I’m glad we’re getting close to an end with this investigation,” Moore said. “This community needs a closure to this.”

Anyone with information that could help should call the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 678-5515.

Dent was a native of Thomson, lived in Washington for many years and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, according to his obituary.

He was a surgical physician assistant with Athens Orthopedic Clinic for the past 23 years.

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