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No foul play suspected in man 's death

The body of a 25-year-old man, reported missing last Friday night, was discovered lying on the side of a dirt road two days later in McDuffie County.

Although the victim had been shot to death, authorities say foul play was not involved.

McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall identified the man as Joe Lewis Battle Jr., of Mesena Road, Thomson.

Mr. Battle recently was discharged from the Marines and had returned home, the sheriff said. His mother reported him missing from the home on Friday night, telling deputies that he left carrying a shotgun.

He had remained a missing person until a relative came upon his body, lying on the side of Bradshaw Road in the northwestern portion of the county about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff Marshall said.

An autopsy was performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Decatur on Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

Results still were pending as of press time.

"We don't suspect foul play," Sheriff Marshall said.

Mr. Battle was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Rhusha Mack. A shotgun was discovered nearby.

Sheriff Marshall asked for assistance from the GBI in working the shooting, which is believed to have been self-inflicted. GBI Special Agent Tony Williamson aided Sheriff's Investigator Larry Adaway.



Web posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010













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