GBI Investigates Shooting Deaths in Ellabell

Ellabell, GA (September 8, 2020) – On Saturday, September 5, 2020, at approximately 4:12 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office to assist with a death investigation. At approximately 3:40 p.m., the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of a shooting that occurred at 323 Murchinson Road, Ellabell, Bryan County, GA. 

Two-Year-Old Shot Inside Residence in Tift County

Tifton, GA (September 8, 2020) – On Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Tift County Sheriff’s Office requested the GBI to assist in a death investigation.

The Tift County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a child not breathing.  Upon arrival at 1706 Mosley Avenue in Tifton, deputies discovered two-year-old Mirakle Brown who was unresponsive and later pronounced deceased at the scene.  Preliminary information indicates that Mirakle and a six-year-old child were in a bedroom alone when a firearm was discharged, striking Mirakle in the head.  The investigation remains active and ongoing.

Brown was transported to the GBI Crime Lab and autopsy results are pending.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to call the Tift County Sheriff’s Office at 229-388-6020 or the GBI’s Regional Office in Sylvester at 229-777-2080.

GBI Conducts Murder Investigation in Sparta, Georgia

Sparta, Georgia (September 7, 2020) – On Monday, September 7, 2020, Bernard Hall, age 29, of Sparta, was charged with murder and aggravated assault for an incident that resulted in the death of Brandon Renardo Morris, age 34.

On Sunday, September 6, 2020, at approximately 6:44 pm, the Sparta Police Department requested that the GBI assist with an aggravated assault on East Broad Street. 

At approximately 6:36 pm, Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an automobile wreck on Georgia Hwy 15 in Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia. At the wreck, it was discovered that Morris was recently stabbed.  Morris was pronounced dead, and his body was transported to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy.

Twenty-Five-Year-Old Walker County Murder Investigation Solved

Walker County, GA (September 5, 2020) On Friday, September 4, 2020, at approximately 10:00 PM, Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) arrested Robert Allen Mowry, age 50, and charged him with one count of malice murder for the death of James Richard Harris, age 54, in December of 1994.

On Thursday, December 22, 1994, at approximately 9:00 AM, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Regional Office in Calhoun was requested by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to assist in a death investigation.  James Richard Harris was found deceased at the entrance to his property and residence at 1610 Boss Road, Chickamauga, GA earlier that morning.  Harris had been murdered and robbed by the gate of his property as he was leaving for work.  At the time, Harris worked at Miller Industries in Chattanooga, TN. 

GBI Expands Gang Task Force to Middle Georgia

Milledgeville, Georgia (September 3, 2020) – On Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the expansion of the Statewide Gang Task Force to the Middle Georgia region of the state.   This announcement comes just over one year after the Task Force was created.  Governor Brian Kemp continues to make dismantling criminal street gangs a priority, and under the leadership of GBI Director Vic Reynolds, this next step falls right in line with that mission.

The Gang Task Force is pleased to partner with several local agencies in Middle Georgia including the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (Sheriff Bill Massee), the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office (Sheriff David Davis), Milledgeville Police Department (Chief Dray Swicord), Eatonton Police Department (Chief Kent Lawrence), District Attorney Steve Bradley, the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force (Commander Wesley Nunn), and a host of other agencies. 

White County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Cleveland, GA (September 2, 2020) – On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, White County resident Billyy Rider, 44, was charged with six counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Pornography) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC). An investigation into Rider’s internet activity by the GBI’s CEACC Unit began after a report was received from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) related to the online sharing of child pornography by Rider via the internet. This investigation led to a search warrant of Rider’s residence in White County, GA, and subsequently Rider’s arrest. The GBI was assisted in the search warrant of Rider’s home by the GBI’s Cleveland Field Office, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, and the Cleveland Police Department.

GBI Arrests Adult Protective Services (APS) Case Worker

Toccoa, GA (September 2, 2020) On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, the GBI arrested Ronald Thomas, 49, of Athens Georgia for 10 counts of Elder Exploitation.  Thomas was booked into the Stephens County Detention Center.  At the time of the commission of the crimes, Thomas was employed as an Adult Protective Services (APS) Case Worker with the Georgia Department of Human Services .  Ronald Thomas has been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation by DHS.

GBI Conducts Wilkinson County Death Investigation

UPDATE: Wilkinson County, GA (September 1, 2020) – On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at approximately 9:30 a.m., John Joseph “Joey” Yozviak, age 38, was arrested and charged with Murder in the second degree and Cruelty to Children in the second degree. This arrest comes after an extensive and thorough investigation regarding the death of Joey’s 12-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn Yozviak.

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

Wilkinson County, GA (August 27, 2020) – On Wednesday, August 27, 2020, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Mary Kathrine “Katie” Horton, age 37, who was charged with Cruelty to Children in the second degree and Murder in the second degree for the death of her daughter, Kaitlyn Michelle Yozviak, age 12. 

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at approximately 4:15 p.m., the GBI’s Regional Office in Milledgeville was requested to assist the Ivey Police Department with the death investigation of Kaitlyn Yozviak.  At approximately 2:11 p.m., the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office 911 center received a call from Katie Horton indicating that her daughter was unresponsive.  Kaitlyn Yozviak was transported to Navicent Medical Center in Baldwin County and pronounced dead.  The GBI, along with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office and the Ivey Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence.

GBI Arrests Jesup Police Department Officer

Jesup, GA (September 1, 2020) – On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, the GBI arrested Jesup Police Department Officer Steven Wright, 30, for one count of Aggravated Sodomy, Sexual Assault Against a Person in Custody, and Violation of Oath of Office. Earlier this date, Wright turned himself into the Wayne County Jail. 

Peach County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Byron, GA (August 31, 2020) – On Thursday, August 27, 2020, Peach County resident Brandon Kersey Borah, 30, was charged in Houston County, Georgia, with four counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Pornography) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC). An investigation into Borah’s internet activity by the GBI’s CEACC Unit began after a report was received from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) related to the online sharing of child pornography by Borah via the internet. This investigation lead to a search warrant of Borah’s current residence in Peach County, Georgia, and a search of Borah’s person in Houston County, Georgia on August 25, 2020. The GBI was assisted by the Peach County Sheriff’s Office in the search warrant of Borah’s home and was assisted by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations regarding the search of Borah’s person. Borah was employed as a Civilian Electronics Engineer with the United States Air Force on the Robins Air Force Base at the time of the search of Borah’s person. Borah’s current criminal charges are pending in Houston County, Georgia, due to the location of the uploaded illegal content.