When an off-duty Jenkins County sheriff's deputy pulled a plastic-wrapped, weighted-down body from the Ogeechee River at Scarboro Landing on Saturday, he had no idea it would turn out to be that of a dog.
The reason someone would go to the trouble of binding a large dog in a tarp, wrapping it in plastic and weighting it down with concrete blocks is a mystery, said Jenkins County Chief Deputy Wesley Aaron.
The unnamed sheriff's deputy and others were fishing at Scarboro Landing around 2:30 p.m. Saturday when he noticed the suspicious bundle. He pulled it ashore and called on-duty sheriff's investigators, Aaron said.
Believing the wrapped object could possibly be a human body, deputies then called the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 5 team from Statesboro.
"We were asked for crime scene help," said GBI Statesboro Special Agent-in-Charge Bill Bodrey. "It was wrapped in a bunch of plastic, and we couldn't tell what it was. But when we learned it was a dog, we were done."
The bizarre incident is still under investigation by the Jenkins County Sheriff's Office, Aaron said. As a K9 officer, the strange circumstances are disturbing, he said, adding that "we will be investigating it just like any other" incident.
The dog, which appeared to be a bulldog, had no puncture wounds or any other visible injuries and appeared to have been in the river less than a week, he said.
"It didn't appear to have been alive when it was thrown in the river," Aaron said.
Both he and Bodrey are puzzled as to why someone would go to the lengths they did in disposing of the dog.
"Someone took a lot of time doing it," Aaron said.
"People do strange things," he said. "Why go through all that wrapping and then put it in the river?"
Anyone who is missing a dog or who has any information about the incident is asked to contact the Jenkins County Sheriff's Office at (478) 982-1570.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.