published Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Coroner: East Georgia surgeon died of strangulation

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A surgeon found dead in an east Georgia creek died as a result of strangulation and blunt-force injuries, a coroner said.

Dr. Charles Mann III was last seen in Barnwell County, S.C., on Thursday evening. The 60-year-old doctor typically worked in Barnwell County during the week and returned home to the central Georgia town of Kathleen on the weekends, The Augusta Chronicle reported.

His blue Honda Civic was found Friday in a wooded area of Augusta, police said. Blood was discovered inside the car, Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Calvin Chew told The Telegraph newspaper of Macon.

The doctor's body was later recovered in Spirit Creek, less than a mile from the spot where his car had been found.

Authorities have charged 22-year-old Glenn Vincent Riggs II with murder and robbery. Jail records do not list an attorney for Riggs.

Investigators think Mann was killed at Riggs' home on Dublin Drive in Augusta, Chew said.

Chew declined to say how investigators think Mann came into contact with the suspect.

The doctor was last seen at a health fair in Williston, S.C., Thursday night, said Mary Valliant, the CEO of the hospital in Barnwell County where Mann worked during the week. It was his typical practice to drive home to Kathleen on Fridays, she said.

Williston is about 35 miles east of Augusta. Kathleen is another 140 miles southwest of Augusta. The most direct route from the South Carolina town to Kathleen is through the Augusta area.

An autopsy was unable to determine an approximate time of Mann's death, Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said.

Mann was a specialist in general surgery and endoscopy at the hospital in Barnwell County, according to its Web site. Mann previously practiced in the Georgia towns of Perry, Eastman and Fort Valley.

"I thought the world of Dr. Mann," Valliant told The Telegraph. "He was a wonderful person. His patients loved him.

"Between patients, he had his Bible out reading it," Valliant added.

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