LAWRENCEVILLE -- A forensic pathologist on Friday confirmed that a body found fours days earlier in a shallow, concrete-filled grave behind a Winder home is that of former Pensacola, Fla., newspaper reporter who had vanished in August.
Two friends of 30-year-old Sean Dugas have been charged with murder, but the motive and circumstances behind the killing have not emerged.
An autopsy showed Dugas died of blunt-force trauma to the back of his head, likely sometime in early September. When the body's condition made identifying him through fingerprints impossible, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation pathologist had to rely on dental and facial bone CT scans, and the serial numbers of surgically implanted dental hardware, to make the identification, said GBI spokesman John Bankhead.
Dental records were delivered to the GBI by Pensacola police officials, a process that delayed the identification.
Twin brothers William and Christopher Cormier -- former Gwinnett residents -- are charged with murder and concealing a death. They had been seen with Dugas in recent weeks, and are believed to have moved to Winder in a U-Haul last month.
The 31-year-old brothers allegedly buried Dugas in the backyard of a home they were renting from their father. The body was found in a plastic container filled with concrete, with a flat slab atop it. Police said the brothers told their father they were burying Dugas' dog on the property.
Records show the Cormier twins had lived in Sugar Hill as early as 1999, and in Lawrenceville as recently June, and had worked at several chain restaurants.
Their younger brother, Greg Cormier, 27, of Lawrenceville, filed petitions for protective orders against the twins in June, claiming they had threatened to assault him. Both petitions were later dismissed.
Dacula resident Jerrie DeLong told the Daily Post she worked with the Cormier twins at a Steak 'N Shake restaurant near the Mall of Georgia last year. DeLong, 71, a hostess no longer employed with the company, said the twins worked as waiters and were known to have volatile tempers, especially when stiffed by non-tipping customers.
"It was like Jekyll and Hyde," DeLong said Friday.
The Pensacola News Journal reported that Dugas knew the Cormier brothers through a mutual interest in a popular fantasy card game. They had frequented the same comic book store. Dugas had worked for that newspaper covering police and entertainment news from 2005 to 2010.