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Updated: 6:23 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 | Posted: 6:18 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, 2012

Remains could be missing Kennesaw man


Remains ID'd as missing Kennesaw man photo
Richard Arnold Masters, 56, of Kennesaw was reported missing in July, and his Jeep Cherokee was found abandoned later that month near Tallulah Falls. (Credit: Rabun County Sheriff’s Office)

By David Ibata

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rabun County authorities reported Monday the discovery of human remains that could be those of a 56-year-old Cobb County man who disappeared in the area in July.

Items found with the body “led investigators to believe that the remains may be associated with the missing person case surrounding the disappearance of Richard Arnold Masters of Kennesaw,” the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The remains were transported to the GBI forensics laboratory. A positive identification had not yet been made Monday. A death investigation was continuing.

Rabun Sheriff Frank Andrews said in the news release that about 10 a.m. Saturday, a resident of the county discovered the remains while walking in the area of Bartram Trail near Darnell Creek. The resident notified the Mountain City Police Department, which in turn contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s investigators and Rabun County Coroner Sam Beck responded, took photographs and collected evidence at the scene.

Masters was reported missing by his brother Ken Masters of Acworth on July 21, Andrews previously said. The brother said he had not seen his sibling since July 19, but that he was known to enjoy hiking in the Tallulah Falls area of Rabun County.

Sheriff’s personnel, assisted by officers of the state Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service and Tallulah Falls police began searching for Richard Masters’ vehicle.

On July 26, sheriff’s deputies found the vehicle — a dark blue late 1990s-model Jeep Cherokee — unoccupied at the end of Kelsey Mountain Road. The vehicle was secured, and there were no signs of foul play.

Authorities conducted an extensive search of area trails, using aircraft and K-9 teams. They also distributed photos of Masters to other hikers and posted them in area stores, but the man was not found.

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