Cody Waggoner was arraigned Friday in Marion County, Tenn., on a homicide charge in the 2016 death of Bradley Aaron Powell, 23.
Powell's body was found in early February in Walker County, Ga. His family reported him missing to the Chattanooga Police Department on Dec. 7, 2016.
Waggoner, 22, was arrested Aug. 7 and arraigned Friday on a charge of first-degree murder in Marion County Circuit Court. Waggoner was charged in an indictment served at the Silverdale Detention Center in Chattanooga where he was being held on unrelated charges, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
During Friday's hearing, the public defender's office was appointed to represent Waggoner and another hearing set for Sept. 19. Waggoner was returned to the Hamilton County Jail, 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor said.
The TBI handled the case with help from Chattanooga and Red Bank police, sheriff's offices in Hamilton and Marion counties in Tennessee and Walker County, Ga., and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, officials said.
During the course of the probe, investigators "developed information leading to Marion County, Tenn., as the probable location where the crime occurred and to [Waggoner] as the individual responsible for the crime," a TBI statement said.
Taylor said Friday there were some questions on jurisdiction, since Powell's body was found in Georgia. A crime usually would be prosecuted where the body is found unless there's evidence that the crime took place elsewhere.
"Officers developed proof that the homicide didn't occur in Walker County, it actually occurred in Marion County," he said. "The evidence indicates that the homicide happened in the vicinity of River Canyon Road."
River Canyon Road tracks along the Tennessee River between Suck Creek Road in Hamilton County and the area known as Mullins Cove in Marion County.
A search was conducted in December 2016 in that area but nothing was found.
No bond has been set, though motions on a bond could be heard when Waggoner returns to Marion County. No date for that return has been set, Taylor said.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.