Head of Columbus FBI office retires

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  With nearly 30 years in public service, Agent Donnie Green is retiring and looking back on his career.

Green was in the military and a police officer before joining the FBI. He's been the Supervisory Senior Residents Agent in Columbus, also overseeing satellite offices in Albany, Valdosta and Thomasville.

"It just seems like one day, I was one of the new agents training and going through Quantico and 21 years later, I'm here in Columbus and I'm retiring," he said.

And as head of the Columbus FBI office, he oversaw some of the city's most high profile cases. One he'll never forget is the search for Eddie Harrington and his three children. Missing for weeks in 2008, their bodies were found in a wooded area off of Chattsworth Road. It was a horrific murder suicide. Harrington shot each of his children before turning the gun on himself, believing the small kids were putting too much strain on their mother.

"That kind of stands out to me as one of the most tragic incidents I've experienced and I hope I never had to experience anything like that again," Green added, explaining how he helped put out the Amber Alert on the family that ended in tragedy.

Then there was the international manhunt for Michael Registe, the man charged in an execution style double murder in Columbus in 2007. Green and local FBI agents worked with the Columbus Police Department and the America's Most Wanted suspect was caught in 2009 on the island of Saint Maarten.

"We're very proud of that. He was on the top ten fugitive list and it's something I wanted to do my entire FBI career and it eventually happened here," Green added.

Robert Mathews is replacing Green. With 10 years in the FBI, he's coming from the Counterterrorism Unit in Washington, D.C. to take on the role.

"It's a little difficult to fill Donnie's shoes. He certainly was well known here and here for a long time and did a fantastic job and I'm just hoping that I'll be able to do as great a job as Donnie was able to do here," Mathews said.

Agent Green plans to do some contracting work, teaching and training.

He looks forward to sharing some of his experiences in law enforcement with other officers.

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