suspected in a triple kidnapping and sexual assault Sunday was found dead in
Metter of apparent suicide on Monday morning, having hanged himself, said
Statesboro police Community Information Specialist Madison Warren.
Bradley Justin Cochran, 40, was found dead outside an abandoned home on Ronnie Street early Monday after someone reported a “suspicious person,” said Metter police Capt. Kevin Wadley.
Armed with a knife, Cochran is believed to have kidnapped three females, Georgia Southern University students, who were in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Food World grocery store on Fair Road late Sunday, according to a press release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 5 office in Statesboro.
He forced the women to drive to a remote dirt road in Candler County, Baggett Farm Road, where he sexually assaulted two of them, according to the release. The girls were able to escape and flee from the vehicle, and Cochran took off in the red RAV4 with a frog decal on the back that belonged to one of the victims.
After leaving the victims on Baggett Farm Road, Cochran took the vehicle to East Lillian Street in Metter, setting it on fire behind the Growers Supply store. He was last seen alive walking on Washington Street, according to the report.
Josh Ayers, special agent with the Statesboro Region 5 Office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, confirmed Monday that agents were at two locations in Metter — the location where Cochran’s body was found as well as the place where the vehicle burned.
Cochran’s body will be transported to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah to determine the official cause and manner of death. The GBI is conducting the investigation in collaboration with the Candler County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesboro Police Department, according to the release by Ayers and GBI Special Agent-in-Charge John Durden.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the GBI’s Statesboro office at (912) 871-1121.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.