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Contributed photo from the Dade County Sheriff's Office / Jeremiah Christopher Douglas, a sex offender who lives in Dade County, Ga., has been charged in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in the middle of the highway Friday.

A man has been arrested and charged with felony murder and a probation violation after a dead woman was found lying in the middle of Highway 299 in Dade County, Georgia, on Friday.

The suspect, Jeremiah Christopher Douglas, is a registered sex offender who resides in Wildwood, a city in Dade County, Sheriff Ray Cross said during a news conference Monday afternoon. The victim was a 23-year-old woman.

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According to Cross, witness interviews and video footage provided by nearby businesses led to Douglas' arrest Saturday, a day after law enforcement first received calls about a woman who appeared to be injured lying in the middle of the highway. There are a number of witnesses involved in the case, he said, including two who spoke to police in the half-hour leading up to the news conference.

"When this happened, she was apparently pushed out of a moving vehicle, and he fled the scene," Cross said.

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Staff photo by Kelcey Caulder / Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross confirmed Douglas' arrest during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Cross said the victim's name will not be released until the sheriff's office receives verification of her identity from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

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Police first learned of a potential homicide after receiving calls about a woman lying in the middle of Highway 299 on Friday. Deputies and first responders arrived on the scene at 8:37 a.m.

Emergency medical services determined the woman was dead at that time. No other information about what might have happened has been made available, and Cross said the motive for the crime is so far unknown.

"Stuff like this is what we want to stop in Dade County from happening if we at all can. If not, we're gonna track them down and we're gonna find them. I'm very upset over this. A family has been damaged because of this piece of trash," Cross said during the news conference. "Forgive my language in this, but I'm just very upset that this happened to a young girl of this age."

Douglas is currently in the Dade County Jail, where he awaits a bond hearing in front of a Superior Court judge.

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Contact Kelcey Caulder at kcaulder@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.

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