“Berrien County Man Identified as Victim Found in Cook County Pond in 2019”

By | July 18, 2023



The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has identified the body of a man found in a Cook County pond in 2019 as Jeremiah Garretson, a resident of Berrien County. Garretson was 36 years old at the time of his death and had graduated from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in 2014.

The GBI was called in to assist with the death investigation after a body was discovered in a pond on Ed Lindsey Road in Lenox. An autopsy conducted by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the cause of death was accidental drowning. However, the initial investigation did not yield any matches in missing person reports from surrounding counties.

In an effort to identify the deceased, the GBI created a sketch of what the person may have looked like and distributed it to the public. Despite receiving multiple leads, none of them resulted in a match. The case was also opened with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

In late 2022, the GBI partnered with Othram, a company specializing in advanced DNA testing, to further investigate the case. Through genealogical searching based on the DNA obtained from the remains, investigative leads eventually led to the identification of Garretson. His family was notified of the identification in May.

The identification of Jeremiah Garretson brings closure to his family and sheds light on the circumstances surrounding his tragic death. The collaboration between the GBI and Othram demonstrates the importance of utilizing advanced technology and forensic techniques in solving cold cases. The resolution of this case also highlights the significance of DNA testing and genealogical research in identifying unidentified remains and providing answers to grieving families.

As more advancements are made in forensic science, it is hopeful that more cold cases will be solved, bringing justice and closure to the families of the victims..