Body Found in Talbot County Pond

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

TALBOT COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -  Investigators have released the name of the man found dead in a backyard pond. Forensic reports confirm the man found to be 22-year-old Ricky Nichols of Box Springs, GA.

The exact cause of death is unknown.  Nichols' decomposing body was found in a bag in a pond behind a residence this past weekend.

Margie Johnson and her husband moved to Talbot County, a year ago,for some peace and quiet.

She didn't realize that the pond behind her new home would eventually become a murder scene.

The chain of events started over a week ago...when she first saw something in the water.

"We were getting an estimate on some work we wanted done around the house, and we just happened to look out at the pond. We noticed what looked like a garbage bag floating there," said Johnson.

She didn't think anything of it at the time, but this past Sunday, when Johnson went out to fish, she saw the bag again, and decided to investigate.

"When we got near, we saw feet and a head, and I knew it wasn't a garbage bag," said Johnson.

The Talbot County Sheriff's Office along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation came out to the scene near the intersection of Highway 80 and Highway 41 in Geneva.

The coroner quickly determined the body was that of a man in his 20's.

"The body was somewhat decomposed and we determined it had been there about 1-2 weeks. Right now, we're just looking at how he got there and who would have been the last person to see him," said Rodney Wall, Special Agent in Charge of the GBI office in Columbus.

They also say the victim's family knew he was missing, but did not file a police report.

As investigators follow up on leads, Johnson still remains shaken up about her unexpected discovery.

"It's kind of scary, I don't know whether I want to fish in the pond for a little while," said Johnson.

GBI agents are treating the death as a homicide, but still don't know how the many died, and are waiting for autopsy results to shed more light on what happened.