Winder police ID body

WINDER - Police on Friday identified a body found Thursday near a grass fire outside Winder as that of a missing Hall County man.

Kenneth Douglas Mohard, 38, of Flowery Branch, was reported missing about 11 p.m. Wednesday by his father, Richard, according to Maj. Jeff Strickland, Hall County Sheriff's Department.

Mohard's partially burned body was found about 10 a.m. Thursday near a brush fire at 513 Tucker Road, just off Carl-Bethlehem Road near Winder, according to Barrow County Fire Chief Mitch Kitchens.

Barrow County's fire investigators believe the fire was arson, Kitchens said.

"We do not believe there was anyone else involved, just the deceased," Kitchens said. "We took samples of evidence from the scene that led us in the direction to consider that this might have been an arsonist overcome by his own actions."

Mohard had no criminal background, according to Strickland and Barrow County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Sheriff Murray Kogod. Mohard had been living with his parents, according to Kogod.

Barrow County firefighters were answering their fourth fire call in about 11 hours Thursday when they discovered Mohard's body. Officials don't know if Mohard died as a result of the fire or was already dead when the fire was reported, Kitchens and Kogod said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's State Crime Lab in Decatur released Mohard's body to a local funeral home Friday. Investigators await the results of his autopsy, Kogod said. David Crosby, Barrow County's coroner, did not immediately return calls.

Firefighters were called to Hazel Moon Road, just down from Tucker Road, about 11 p.m. Wednesday and found three abandoned buildings on fire. Two of the buildings, houses purchased by a nearby landfill and awaiting demolition, were completely destroyed. The third building, the former sanctuary of La Mission de Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe, an Hispanic church, was partially destroyed. Firefighters remained on the scene until 3:30 a.m.

About 7:30 a.m., firefighters were called back to Hazel Moon Road to find the former sanctuary again in flames. Firefighters extinguished the fire, then returned about 10 a.m. to nearby 513 Tucker Road, where church members are constructing a new sanctuary, to find a grass fire and Mohard's body in the nearby woods.

Mohard was last seen around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Strickland.

Barrow County firefighters extinguished three fires overnight Friday, one Saturday and one Sunday. All but the Saturday fire are under investigation as arson.

Funeral services for Mohard are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Memorial Park Funeral Home South, 4121 Falcon Parkway in Flowery Branch.