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GBI examining body found in Cherokee County; could be missing man

POSTED: May 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Authorities think they have found the body of a 31-year-old Forsyth County man who has been missing about two weeks.

Sgt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor discovered the body at about 10:15 Thursday morning on Avery Estates Drive.

Michael Benson was last seen May 2 when he left for work. The truck Benson was driving turned up May 3 on Hog Farm Circle, a remote area of Cherokee County.

Baker said the body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab where identification could take days.

"We won’t know for sure (if it’s Benson) until the results come back," Baker said.

The body was about a half mile from where the truck was found.

"The body is so decomposed that we cannot identify male, female, black or white," Baker said. "But certainly we’re taking into consideration the location of the vehicle."

Investigators with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Benson was en route from his north Forsyth home to a job site in Cherokee County when he disappeared.

As recently as Wednesday afternoon, Benson’s fiancée was holding out hope he would be found alive. Natasha Lohman said Benson takes daily medication, which he did not have with him when he left.

Authorities spent several days last week searching the area of Hog Farm Circle.

Baker said dogs from the Forsyth and Cherokee sheriff’s departments were used in a search. Cadaver dogs and a Georgia State Patrol helicopter also took part.



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