By Joe Johnson
A body that was found in a ditch off Athena Drive earlier this month has been identified as that of a Danielsville man who went missing in Athens in May, according to Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson.
Timothy “Timmy” Rowland, 33, was reported missing to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office by family members who suspected that foul play could have been involved.
When his body was found on June 3 by a crew that was working on a closed portion of Athena Drive, it was too decomposed for authorities to make an immediate identification.
Wilson said Monday morning he was notified on Saturday by a medical examiner at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s State Crime Lab that the body had been positively identified as Rowland’s through dental records, tattoos and fingerprints.
Determination of the cause and manner of death remained pending while the investigation continued, according to Wilson.
According to the missing person report filed with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Rowland was last seen the afternoon of May 23 at the Dollar General store on North Avenue in Athens.
What made Rowland’s disappearance suspicious to his family members was that he supposedly was last seen by a friend who drove with Rowland to the store and when he returned to the car Rowland was gone.
Additionally, it was unlike Rowland to be gone for an extended period of time without being in touch with family, especially his ailing mother, whom he would frequently call or text to check on her, according to Mike Whittington, who is married to Rowland’s mother.
The missing person case was eventually transferred to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department due to Rowland having gone missing in Athens. The ACCPD is now also handling the man’s death investigation.