As nearly 50 officers searched a patch of woods in Dalton, Ga., on Friday morning for a man missing since April 2010, authorities discovered a body.
But police say they won't know if the body is that of Ricky Long until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Decatur identifies it.
Long, 47, last was seen by his roommate leaving his Autumn Ridge apartment in Dalton on foot on April 22, 2010, said Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier.
Police conducted several searches in the area after Long's disappearance, but he never was found, Frazier said.
A few weeks ago, investigators received new information and decided to search again, Frazier said, but he declined to describe the new information. He did say it was not based on a tip and that investigators did not know where to locate the body.
About 50 officers from Whitfield and Gordon counties and several GBI K9 unit dogs combed through a wooded area near Long's apartment complex Friday and found the body nearby around 11 a.m., Frazier said.
Whitfield County Coroner Bobbie Dixon referred all questions about the body to police.
Long, who was unmarried and didn't have any children, lived with his roommate on Autumn Court, Frazier said. Days before he disappeared his roommate told police Long was talking about killing himself, Frazier said.
Frazier said Long had one family member living in Dalton who was staying in an adult assisted living home.
The last time Long was seen, he walked from his apartment in tan jeans, a black nylon jacket and a Dale Earnhardt baseball hat, police said.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...