VALDOSTA — Lanier County Sheriff's Office released the following statement this afternoon:
Deceased Body Positively Identified
A deceased body discovered in the area of Burnt Church Road southeast of Lakeland on Friday morning, February 7th, has been positively identified as being that of 42 year old Keith Oliver Ervin of Dean lane, Remerton, Georgia. Mr. Ervin had been reported as a “Missing Person” in late January to the Remerton Police Department in the Valdosta area. Missing person flyers and billboards had been posted trying to learn of Mr. Ervins whereabouts and the Remerton Police Department was conducting ongoing investigations into the matter.
On Friday when the body was discovered, the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, began an investigation into the incident and immediately discovered information at the scene which led them to believe that the body was likely that of Mr. Ervin, however, that information could not be released until positive proof by scientific means was obtained. The GBI Crime Lab in Moultrie Georgia received the body and quickly began coordinating with the Sheriff’s Office Investigators assigned to the case concerning determination of the identification of the victim. On Tuesday, February 11th, the Crime Lab notified the Sheriff’s Office that fingerprint comparison had positively identified the body as that of Keith O. Ervin.
The body has now been sent to Atlanta for additional advanced forensic examination to assist in determining a cause of death. No clear cause of death was immediately determined at the scene by the Investigators, CSI ( Crime Scene Investigation) personnel or the Lanier County Coroner and additional forensic examination is then the next step.
The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with close members of Mr. Ervin’s family since Friday. Release of the identification was pending the family responding back that remainder of the family had been adequately notified. In an early morning phone call with the family today, they advised that they felt the family had all been adequately notified and a release to the media here would be acceptable.
If you knew Mr. Ervin, or if you know of anyone locally that Mr. Ervin has been in contact with or that might have known him, the Sheriff’s Office is eager to receive that information and interview those persons to try and determine what has occurred in this case. This case is being investigated as a Homicide due to the undetermined manner of death. Anyone who saw anything unusual or has anything helpful to add concerning the case is encouraged to provide the information.
Anyone who has any information that might assist in the investigation is asked to call the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 229-482-3545, Detective Sergeant John Olsen.