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Dead body found in Ellabell identified

Authorities have identified the deceased body found inside a burning vehicle in Ellabell two months ago.

DNA tests revealed that the deceased is Earlis Marvin Smokes Jr., according to Bill Bodrey, special agent in charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Statesboro. Smokes, 24, had a last known address of 3210 Highway 204 in Ellabell.

Bryan County Emergency Services was dispatched to the scene around 11:30 p.m. Feb. 2 near the intersection of Olive Branch Road and Heape Road behind the Olive Branch Baptist Church. A body was found inside the vehicle after the fire was extinguished.

The DNA test was performed after an autopsy failed to identify the body.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the GBI's Statesboro office at (912) 871-1121.

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