Ga. mobile home attack claims 8th victim, 19

Man arrested on other charges may be suspect

Guy Heinze Jr. (left) was charged with lying to police and tampering with evidence, and has not been ruled out as a suspect in the slayings. Guy Heinze Jr. (left) was charged with lying to police and tampering with evidence, and has not been ruled out as a suspect in the slayings.
By Russ Bynum
Associated Press / August 31, 2009

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - An eighth person has died in an attack on a Georgia mobile home, police said yesterday.

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering identified the victim as Michael Toler, 19. He was one of two people critically injured in the attacks in Brunswick along the Georgia coast. A ninth is hospitalized.

The man who reported the gruesome slayings, originally of seven people, faces charges of lying to police and tampering with evidence, and authorities said they haven’t ruled him out as a suspect in the killings.

The killer was one of the dead, whose bodies were found Saturday, or the last survivor, according to Doering.

Doering also announced a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. He said police have no other suspects, adding: “We need help.’’

The chief said police are certain they know what happened, but still do not know who committed the killings or why.

Guy Heinze Jr., 22, was arrested late Saturday and also faces charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and marijuana, said Doering.

“He was a family member who came home and discovered [the victims], at least that’s what he told us,’’ Doering said.

Asked whether Heinze was involved in the slayings, Doering said: “I’m not going to rule him out, but I’m not going to characterize him as a suspect.’’

The chief also said police did not know whether more than one killer was involved.

Police have not released the other victims’ names or said how they died in the home on an old plantation, nestled among centuries-old, moss-draped oak trees in coastal southeast Georgia. Doering defended his vague statements about the case, saying he didn’t want the public to know details that might compromise what he called a “tedious’’ investigation.

“We just simply don’t have a lot to go on,’’ Doering said. “I’m not going to tell people not to be cautious. Until we know exactly what happened and who did it, that’s not going to change.’’

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation began conducting autopsies yesterday. John Bankhead, bureau spokesman, said results would be released by Glynn County police, and Doering said it could take two or three days for autopsies to be completed.

Investigators spent a second day yesterday scouring for new evidence at the home, where an old boat sat in the front yard. Officers on all-terrain vehicles searched roadsides within 2 miles of the mobile home park for evidence.

The 1,100-acre mobile home park is all that remains of a Crown grant made in 1763 to Henry Laurens, who succeeded John Hancock as president of the Continental Congress in 1777.

Laurens obtained control of the South Altamaha river lands and named it New Hope Plantation, according to the plantation’s website.

Associated Press writer Dionne Walker in Atlanta contributed to this report.