HAWKINSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - DNA tests confirm human remains found off of Nick Cabero Road in Hawkinsville are that of missing Middle Georgia State College student Jmaal Keyes.
According to a release from the GBI, the identification of Keyes was obtained through DNA parentage testing with Keyes' biological parents.
The remains were removed from a cabin in rural Pulaski County last Friday after a widespread search of both Bleckley and Pulaski Counties.
19-year-old Jmaal Keyes went missing from the Cochran campus of MGSC on April 25, the same day the cabin went up in flames in Pulaski County.
The teenager charged with murder in the death, 17-year-old Robert Kane Rolison, was a dual-enrolled student at Hawkinsville High School and MGSC and could have been Keyes' classmate.
He was originally charged with murder in Bleckley County but has since been transferred to Pulaski County, where he now faces a murder charge there instead since Keyes remains were found there.
Rolison made his first appearance in court Thursday. A date for his bond hearing has not been set.
In a news release, MGSC interim president John Black said,
We learned this morning that DNA testing confirmed the remains found in Pulaski County are those of our student, Jmaal Malik Keyes. This brings to a tragic end the search for one of our own, and it closes a painful chapter in the history of our college. We are encouraged by, and thankful for, the hard work of law enforcement officers as they seek the full measure of justice that our court system affords.
The Middle Georgia State family is heartsick that what began as a missing person case did not end with Jmaal returning alive and well to his family and friends. We are saddened that this young man's life was cut short, and we extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to all who loved and cared about Jmaal.