Friends of man found dead in woods desperately searching for answers

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County investigators still don’t know who shot 21 year-old Neil Patel and left his body in the woods behind a Macon rec center but friends of the man are now looking for answers.

“Everybody loves him here. I miss him a lot he was my roommate. He was the only person I could talk to about anything,” said Patel’s former roommate Ashwani Gill.

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Friends of Patel say before he became Macon-Bibb’s 30th homicide victim, he was a great friend, employee and all around nice guy.

“I don’t understand how a guy like him would get in a situation like that,” said another friend Deion Lowe. “He was just an innocent person. He used to play video games and all, he had some friends here. He just used to play video games all the time. That was his passion,” Gill continued.

Gill says he last saw the New Jersey native before leaving for work on the 18th just one day before Patel was scheduled to head home for the holidays. Gill says when he returned home from work, Patel was no where to be found.



“All the doors inside were open, lights were on doors were on, were on. He wasn’t there so first I thought maybe he left because he was about to leave for Christmas to New Jersey,” he explained.

Gill says he knew something was wrong when he saw Patel’s wallet and ID were still at the apartment. All that was missing were the victim’s Xbox One and Tv.

“All his stuff was here but he wasn’t so then we called the cops, and then they found that body,” said Gill.

Patel’s body was found lying face down in the woods with a gunshot wound three days after family and friends put out the initial missing person’s report.

“It was some argument’s involved but we don’t know who. We got that as second hand information,” said Coroner Leon Jones.

“He never had any kind of violence, he never talked any kind of negative way. He was just a good dude,” said Lowe.

Both men say they don’t know who would’ve done this or why but that Patel may have gotten mixed in with the wrong crowd.

At this time, there are no other updates on the status of the investigation is but Coroner Leon Jones says his office is working side by side with Bibb County Sheriff’s Office to find Patel’s killer and put his friends and family at ease.

If you have any information regarding this incident contact the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500 or Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.