A Georgia man described as a “grandfather to the neighborhood” is being mourned by family and friends after being killed and dismembered, allegedly at the hands of a new resident.
“What began as a search for a well-respected member of the Clayton County community has now turned into a murder investigation,” WAGA-TV reported Monday.
“Authorities found the body of Clayton County minister Robert Page Thursday night not far from his home.”
And the way that the 70-year-old man met his death was beyond grisly.
Police say a neighbor who moved into a Clayton neighborhood 3 months ago, killed 70 y/o Robert Paige & dismembered his body. We asked police about a motive. I have a live report coming up in 15min on Ch2. Turn your tv on now please pic.twitter.com/ls9JYxEwfP
— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) November 9, 2018
When Page was reported missing Thursday evening, the search began with his next-door neighbor, Martinez Ponce.
He was seen outside the home of the minister on the night Page went missing. When investigators wen to Ponce’s home, the case cracked open.
“Officers went to the back of the residence, and located the offender, hiding under a couch, acting very nervous and suspicious,” said a spokesperson for the Clayton County Police Department.
“Officers then noticed a trail of blood, in the backyard. They followed the trail, which led them to the victim, Mr. Page’s dismembered remains.”
WSB-TV reported that Ponce was combative with police, which led to an obstruction charge on top of a malice murder charge for the killing of Page.
Ponce had only lived in the area for about three months. No motive has been reported for the killing yet, nor is there any information on whether he was dismembered while he was alive. The two didn’t know one another.
However, tributes from the community show how much he’ll be missed.
“He’s irreplaceable. The personality he had was priceless. Nobody will ever be able to top him,” Bobby Austin, Page’s grandson, told reporters.
“Even if you weren’t related to him, if he saw that you were a younger nice person, he would say, ‘You’re my grandson or granddaughter’ or ‘You’re my son or daughter,’ something like that. He was a very (embracing) person … and to go in such a tragic way, it just hit us all really hard at the moment,” Austin added.
“He was a great guy. He helped me build my driveway and all. We talked every day and he helped me build my fence and my gate and all, and we were just friends,” another neighbor said.
“I don’t have any words for it. It was just crazy to know something that outrageous could happen right next door.”
And that’s the sad lesson: We need to be able to defend ourselves against cases such as this. Most people understand that being in public presents some dagers even if the chance of anything truly bad happening is remote.
But something this outrageous could also happen right next door. No, the likelihood isn’t high, but it’s something we ought to realize is a possibility — and there are very good ways to handle it.
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