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Dawsonville man found dead near Cumming shopping center
police emergency

A missing Dawsonville man was found dead in the woods near Buford Dam Road on Saturday, according to authorities.

Charles Austin, 40, was found by Cumming Police Department officers around 2 p.m. in a wooded area near the BJ’s Wholesale Club location, according to Cumming Police Chief David Marsh.

Officers responded to a report from Austin’s girlfriend around 1 p.m. that he was missing, Marsh said. Austin had been homeless for the previous week and living in a tent in the Market Place Boulevard area, according to the girlfriend.

Cumming officers canvassed the area and located Austin’s body within an hour, Marsh said. 

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Officers identified the body based on the girlfriend’s description of Austin’s tattoos that matched those found on the body in the tent, Marsh said.

Austin appeared to have been dead for a few days, Marsh said. A preliminary investigation found no signs of foul play, Marsh said.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Unit organized the scene, Marsh said, and the body was turned over to the Forsyth County coroner’s office.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an autopsy, according to Marsh.