Family members at the scene where a body was found in the woods on Dell Drive May 14 say that it is Daekwon Hines, the teen who has been missing since May 11.
While family said that the body found on the 500 block of Dell Drive is their missing loved one. The Thomson Police, GBI and the McDuffie County Coroner are waiting on autopsy results to make a positive identification and cause of death.
Thomson Police Chief Seay said the body found at 2:45 p.m. is suspected to be the missing Daekwon Hines. “It fits the description, but I am waiting on the autopsy to confirm,” he said. The body has been taken to the GBI crime lab near Atlanta.
Law enforcement is investigating the discovery as a homicide.
Seay said there is a possible connection to this incident and a May 6 shooting at the Thomson Villas Apartments that resulted in a 14 year old being shot in the leg.
People gathered along Dell Drive said Hines, 17, and the 14-year old shot a week ago were friends.
Children walking a path in the woods discovered the body. Seay said he and officers were in the area searching for Hines when they heard screams and saw children running from the woods.
“We went there and ran everyone off, and we found the body. I am not positive that it is the missing individual,” Seay said.
The Thomson Police Department requested the public’s assistance in locating Daekwon Hines on May 11. He was reported missing by his grandmother around 4 p.m. and was last seen on May 11 around 2 a.m. on Bussey Ave. Hines was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with the letters KFC written in green. He had on low cut blue jean pants with holes in them.
“It is suspected this might be the body of the missing man that law enforcement has been searching for,” Seay said.
James Bonner, an uncle, said his nephew “Dae Dae” had been kidnapped and placed in a car. “I think he was shot. In my opinion as to what happened now is that if it happened Friday night, he had been shot the same night he was abducted,” he said.
“This is a tragedy. The whole family is hurting. We were hoping he would come back home. We were hoping that it would not be like this,” Bonner said. “Everyone is in shock.”
Bonner described Hines as a good kid. “You know sometimes kids step out of their boundaries, but we put them back on and we try to guide them in the right way.”
Bonner urges parents to always know the location of their children and be in frequent contact with them. “If you have a cell phone, call them, tell them to come home. Do not let them be out at all times of the night. This is tragic what happened to my nephew.”
Family members Michelle Foster and Tosha Harris were eating lunch together on May 14 when they received a tip to come to Dell Drive and search for Hines. “We came here immediately,” Foster said. They said a cousin saw the body. “We all took off down there, and I saw him, and we identified that it was him,” Foster said.
“We are in a state of shock, but we are holding on,” Foster said.
Harris said it is sad that this type of violence has struck the family. “It is sad to see so many young people of all ages involved in all of this violence. It is hard to swallow,” she said. “It is hard to think that people around here would have that much hatred in their heart to take someone else’s life. The mother is grieving. That is her baby lying out there, and she has seen that. I do not understand how anybody could just take an innocent person’s life because you are trying to prove a point. Not only is our family grieving, but their family is going to grieve too because whoever it is, is going to go to jail.”
Foster said the grandmother who Hines lived with has been seriously affected by what has occurred. “It is a tragic loss.”
Both described Hines as the typical teenager, a person who sometimes was influenced by peer pressure and a person who had a good heart. “If you knew him, you would know that he had a good heart. Everybody loved him.”
Foster solicits the community’s prayers. “I just wish that as a community, we could come together and put an end to this violence. It is getting out of hand,” she said.