A missing Georgia man’s dismembered body was discovered Thursday after cops followed a trail of blood at a neighbor’s house that led them to the grisly discovery in the backyard, police said.
Robert Page was found dead at his neighbor’s home in Morrow just after 11 p.m. Thursday, Clayton County police told FOX5 Atlanta. Page’s wife reported her husband missing just hours before his remains were discovered where Christian Ponce-Martinez, 25, had been living for three months since moving from Mexico to the Georgia town.
Authorities searched the home after Ponce-Martinez was captured on surveillance video outside Page’s home earlier that day.
“Officers went to the back of the residence, and located the offender, hiding under a couch, acting very nervous and suspicious,” Maj. Craig Hammer said in a news conference. “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.”
The body parts were found in a cooler and under two tarps in the backyard.
Ponce-Martinez was arrested and charged with malice murder. An obstruction charge was also added Friday after the alleged killer was uncooperative and combative with police, WSB-TV reported.
Police said Page and Ponce-Martinez didn’t know each other prior to the incident. Ponce-Martinez moved to the Georgia town from Mexico three months ago and was renting a room at the house. It’s unclear if he was in the United States legally.
The motive for the murder is unclear.
Nancy Jones, a friend, told FOX5 the 70-year-old was “dearly loved.”
Page’s grandson Bobby Austin also told WSB-TV that his grandfather’s personality was “priceless.”
“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 said.