Authorities release name of victim found dead near recreation center


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year -old Neil Patel was found dead near a recreation park in South Macon.

Deputies say Patel was found behind the recreation center in Bloomfield Park just before noon Thursday. That’s on Lion’s Place off Rocky Creek Road.

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Patel was reported missing on December 19th.

Deputies say they were able to identify the body after reviewing prints taken at the GBI Crime lab.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says the man was shot.

Authorities are investigating the crime as a homicide.

No word yet on  how long the body was in the woods before it was discovered.

Jones says the person who reported the incident left the scene before authorities arrived.

Jones says this is the city’s 30th homicide of the year.