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Police find body of missing Athens man

Fred Grady Howard

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man’s body was found in a wooded area near his home two weeks after he was reported missing, Athens-Clarke County police said.

Fred Grady Howard, 66, was reported missing by his sister on March 5, three days after the woman said he left their home on Burkland Lane, according to police.

After having no luck in their search, police last week released the man’s photo, seeking the public’s assistance in locating Howard.

Then on Friday afternoon, officers returned to Howard’s home with an aerial drone they used to search the area from above, police said.

"The drone operator located what was thought to be a human body in a wooded area behind Mr. Howard's house,” Lt. Shaun Barnett said. “Officers then went in on foot to the area and located Mr. Howard's body.”

According to Barnett, there were no obvious signs of foul play or trauma to Howard.

Police previously said that except for having a blind eye, Howard had no known medical issues.

Howard's body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s State Crime Lab for an autopsy, the officer said.

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