Authorities have charged a Lumpkin County man with giving false statements after he reportedly took local investigators on what they are calling a wild goose chase in search of a dead body.
At the time he made the report, he was incarcerated in the Lumpkin County jail on unspecified charges.
David William Hatcher II, 22, was taken into Dawson County Sheriff's custody on Friday, nearly a month after he told officers he had witnessed a murder at a home in Dawsonville six months before.
Hatcher also reportedly told investigators he had helped bury the body at the home on Hwy. 9 North, near the intersection of Gold Creek Parkway.
"After investigating, we were able to determine that was not the case," said sheriff's spokesman Capt. Tony Wooten.
Authorities were called to the scene just after 11 p.m. Sept. 1 and returned the next morning with an agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that specializes in crime scene identification.
"We determined a body had not been buried there because of the way the ground had been the last six months," Wooten said. "It would be obvious if a hole was dug up big enough to bury a body."
Authorities found additional flaws in Hatcher's story that led them to believe he had falsely reported a crime.
"At the time of the accusation of a murder and body buried there, he had claimed the house was for sale and nobody was there," Wooten said. "The people that had lived at that house had lived there for several years, so we thought from the beginning that the story didn't make sense."
Hatcher eventually recanted his story, Wooten said, though not before taking investigators to several locations in other counties.
He was released on $5,200 bond Oct. 2, according to jail records.