Body Found Under Porch At Home Of Missing Man


UPDATED: Tuesday October 22, 2013 2:26 PM

Police and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations have discovered a body at the home of a missing man.

Glouster Police tell 10TV a body was discovered after 8:00 p.m. Monday in a well under a side porch.

10TV's Glenn McEntyre reports officials could be heard using saws on the porch to get closer to the location where the body was found.

Glouster Police were first called to the home on Locust Street in Glouster on October 18 after neighbors reported seeing someone removing property from the home.

When officers arrived, they found the water heater had been removed from the home and the homeowner Paul Roberts, Sr., 63, was missing.

While on the scene, Glouster Police arrested Paul Roberts, Jr., 40, on one count of vandalism in connection with the water heater removal.

Rhonda Degarmore, Roberts Jr.'s wife, was brought in for questioning and arrested for a probation violation.

Three days of investigation led police to a well under the porch of Roberts Sr.'s home.

Athens Firefighters brought in heavy equipment to access the well Monday night.

"We actually had to cut the porch away to access the well," said Athens Fire Chief Bob Troxill.  "Once the well was accessed we were able to use some equipment."

Investigators believe the body they found is Paul Roberts, Sr.   They are waiting on official confirmation of the identity. 

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says Roberts' son and his wife are persons of interest in his death.

"Mister Roberts [Jr.] was awaiting sentencing on other felony charges.  His father was the victim on at least a couple of those charges," said Blackburn.  "That sentencing had been scheduled for November 4th.  There's concern that may be motive for what happened here."

Rhonda Degarmore's brother, Robert Degarmore, is also in custody on a charge of complicity to receive stolen property.

Investigators say he used the victim's credit card after it's believed he disappeared.  They are trying to determine whether he played any role or had any knowledge of his death.

Glouster police are also searching for Roberts Sr.'s missing 2004 black Jeep Liberty.  They believe it may have been sold to someone in the Columbus area.

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