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Human remains found in closed Lake Lanier park

FLOWERY BRANCH — Heavily decomposed human remains were found Thursday at a closed-to-the-public park on Lake Lanier.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman 1st Lt. Stephen Wilbanks said a crew contracted to clean up Chestnut Ridge Park made the unsettling discovery of what appeared to be human remains wrapped in a blanket inside a bathroom. At about 2 p.m., they called authorities to the park just outside Gwinnett County lines, a short drive off Gaines Ferry Road near McEver Road.

“Investigators responded to the scene and verified that the remains were in fact that of a human,” Wilbanks said, “but due to the advanced state of decomposition they were not able to determine anything regarding gender, age or identity. It appeared that the remains had been in place for an extended period of time.”

The body was transported to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy, Wilbanks said. The case was under investigation by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigations division.

Officials said Chestnut Ridge Park is a property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that “was closed to the public several years ago.” The Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority has the land under long-term lease but it has remained closed.

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Chestnut Ridge Park

Chestnut Ridge Park