Friday, June 20, 2008
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
BUFORD - The victim of Buford's first murder in nearly two years was identified by police Thursday as Demetrius Willingham, a 33-year-old Decatur man reported missing by his girlfriend the day he was slain.
Willingham was found June 12 shot to death in a Buford residence. His identity, however, was not known for a week. This prompted local authorities to scour FBI databases to shed light on who he was.
But authorities didn't have to look far. Willingham was finally identified Thursday after investigators learned his girlfriend filed a missing persons report on him with DeKalb police the day he was found murdered.
Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said he did not have information regarding how police linked the two incidents.
Willingham's body was discovered after an anonymous caller reported a person injured at the 2424 Buford Dam Road home at 5:20 p.m. June 12. Police found the man, who carried no identification, in a pool of blood inside the residence. The home is a rental property, and Willingham was neither the renter nor the owner of the house, authorities said.
Neighbors said a Hispanic family with children recently moved out of the home, though police have not been able to track them down.
Authorities said they continue to following leads in Willingham's murder, but are baffled by the circumstances.
"We still do not know why the victim was at the location," Schiralli said via e-mail. "It's a pretty mysterious case."
The homicide marks the first killing in greater Buford since August 2006, when two 15-year-old girls were charged in the death of their adoptive mother.