published Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Police find body amid search for missing man in Whitfield County

Officers and investigators from the Dalton Police Department and other agencies are performing a search of woods and land near Autumn Ridge apartments on Autumn Court searching for the body of Ricky Long, who has not been seen since April of 2010.
Contributed
Officers and investigators from the Dalton Police Department and other agencies are performing a search of woods and land near Autumn Ridge apartments on Autumn Court searching for the body of Ricky Long, who has not been seen since April of 2010. Contributed
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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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.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

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