A Ray City, Ga., man, who killed another man in Berrien County, Ga., and burned the remains in Madison County in Oct. 2009, has escaped after cutting an ankle bracelet, used to track him.
Chief Deputy Ray Paulk, of the Berrien County, Ga. Sheriff's Office, said that John Woods had posted a $150,000 property bond and had been issued a tracking bracelet about a month after his arrest in 2009.
Paulk said that Woods had been granted small liberties, such as being allowed to leave his home to go to the doctor, but other than those, he had to remain at home.
On Thursday afternoon, Paulk said that the Berrien County Sheriff's Office had received a call from Woods' mother that Woods was not at home.
Paulk said that the sheriff's office had contacted Watchdog, a Douglas, Ga.-based company who provides the tracking bracelets. Watchdog said that they had gotten an alert on the bracelet around midnight on Wednesday morning, Dec. 29. For whatever reason, they had not contacted Berrien County authorities.
When asked if law officers had any indication where Woods might be, Paulk said, "No. I don't think he's anywhere around here, though. There's no telling what part of the world he's concentrating on."
Details of the crime committed in 2009 were as follows:
On Oct. 2, a telephone call to the Madison County Sheriff's Office resulted in the two-state murder investigation.
According to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, the caller reported finding what appeared to be charred human skeletal remains. Sgt. Randy Jansch responded to the location west of Highway 53 and south of Interstate 10 in Madison County. The remains were later identified as those of Travis A. Sauls of Berrien County, Ga.
Jansch called Capt. Mark W. Joost, the Chief Investigator for the Sheriff's Office, to assist at the scene.
Sheriff Ben Stewart, Chief Deputy Epp Richardson, Sgt. Inv. Tina DeMotsis and Bill Pfeil, FDLE Special Investigator, also responded to the scene.
Within hours, John D. Woods, a 36-year-old white male resident of Ray City, Ga., was identified as a potential suspect in the homicide.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, Woods surrendered to the Berrien County Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Ga.
The subsequent investigation revealed that on the previous Monday, Sept. 28, or Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, Woods killed an individual in Berrien County, Ga. He then transported the body to the secluded area south of Interstate 10 in Madison County.
Woods was charged with concealing a death by the Berrien County Sheriff's Office.