UPDATE: Body positively identified as that of missing man

Habersham County Coroner Kasey McEntire says the body of a man found in the woods off Low Gap Road on September 18 is that of Jason Monroe Kelley.

Jason Kelley’s family stands on the side of the road, anxiously awaiting information after a body was found on Sept. 18, near where he went missing in northern Habersham County.

Kelley, 43, of Clarkesville, was last seen at his home on Alec Mountain Road on September 12. Family members found his body six days later, deep in the woods on the northern end of Habersham County.

“Although foul play is not suspected, the cause of death is still pending,” McEntire tells Now Habersham. He says Kelley had possibly been dead since Saturday night or early Sunday morning when he was initially reported missing.

A ground and aerial search conducted earlier in the week in the area near where Kelley’s car was found failed to turn up anything. McEntire says his body was found approximately a mile and a half into the woods beyond the vicinity of where his car was located.

Cases appear ‘completely unrelated’

Kelley’s body was discovered one week after two women found human remains near the Soque River in Clarkesville while searching for another missing man. Shane Justice, who was homeless, was known to live under the bridge in the area where the body was found. Authorities say it could take months before that body is positively identified.

Kelley’s body was found about 1.5 miles into the woods off Low Gap Road in northern Habersham County.

“Due to factors of decomposition, more extensive tests are required and those results are forthcoming once a positive identification can be made,” McEntire said. He stresses that both situations are thought to be “completely unrelated” incidents.

Law enforcement backs up that view.

“There does not appear to be any connection in the cases,” says Habersham County Sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Wurtz. Authorities are still investigating.

“It has been a difficult few weeks in Habersham County and our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families, friends, searchers, responders, and others impacted,” says McEntire.

A celebration of life service for Jason Kelley will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 26, at Good News Baptist Church in Cornelia.

Jason Kelley obituary

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