Douglas County officials found the body of a decomposed female in a wooded area near the Carroll County line off Bankhead Highway on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Villa Rica Police received a call around 2:30 p.m. after a driver spotted the body in the woods close to the intersection of Cleghorn Street. Captain of Villa Rica Patrol Division Keith Shaddix stated that Villa Rica Police were the first to respond, but Douglas County will take the lead in the case.
“We called in the Douglas County/Douglasville Major Case Unit, and they did an investigation from about 3:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” stated Douglas County’s Sheriff Lieutenant Glenn Daniel.
All deaths are treated and investigated as if they are homicides until evidence and the investigation proves otherwise. It appeared as if the body had been there a week or two. There was no apparent cause of death, but something seemed suspicious according to Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel. He pronounced the woman dead at 5:30 p.m.
Foul play is not suspected, since the body was fully clothed and had no visible gunshot wounds, bruises or stab wounds that could have been contributed to her death.
After the Major Case Unit completed its work, R. Daniel had the woman’s body transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab to determine cause of death and identification.
“We have a pretty good idea who she is, but we won’t release her name until the GBI positively identified her,” stated R. Daniel.
A Douglasville woman was also reported missing for 11 days, around the same timeframe that the body was found.
The GBI later identified the body as 42-year-old Hispanic woman Dethi Irene Veras-Thornton of Douglasville. Thornton had reportedly been missing since early September and was last seen at the Wal-Mart on Concourse Parkway in Douglasville on Sept. 4.
“We’re still waiting on the toxicology results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but that could take up to 60 days, so right now it’s a waiting game,” said R. Daniel.
Even though the body has been identified, the cause of death has yet to be found and the investigation is still considered open at this time.