Using clay recreation, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation artist constructed a rendering -- revealed in a Monday press conference -- of what the victim may have looked like. Described as a Hispanic male from 18 to 40 years of age, the victim stood between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 9 inches.
The remains were discovered about 8 a.m. July 3 off Paga Mine Road near Emerson by fishermen walking through the area. The only clothing recovered from the remains, which were located in a wood line, was a pair of white boxers and one sock.
"This skull -- the remains of a skull -- that were found there, we sent to the crime lab," said Sheriff Clark Millsap. "A forensic examination revealed that the unknown victim had been shot at least twice -- once in the back of the head and once in the torso area."
BCSO Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said the autopsy report revealed the victim had been shot first in the back, with that round exiting in the rib cage area, and then once to the back of the head when he fell.
Although the shot to the head appeared like an execution, Millsap declined to comment on the possibility.
The sheriff said two .22 caliber shell casings were recovered from the area. That evidence had been withheld by authorities prior to Monday's press conference.
Crime scene photos showed bones scattered around a wooded area; some of the rib cage, the pelvis and most of the legs were retrieved along with the skull. DNA evidence also was recovered at the scene.
"We don't exactly know how long the body was there, but as you can see from it being just the skull, it's been there awhile," Millsap said, adding there was evidence of animal activity on the body.
The GBI artist's rendering was a joint effort between the agencies, according to the sheriff, adding that the recreation took some time. The project was first mentioned to the press in September by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
Now, authorities are hoping the completed bust will help give a name to the victim.
"We have been in touch with several agencies in the area attempting to see if they had any missing persons reports that might have matched the description. We are needing all the help we can get to see if anybody might be able to recognize this and try to help us out because we're trying to figure out who it is," Millsap said. "There's a lot that we don't know -- no leads."
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 770-606-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous and information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward.