Grandfather’s dismembered body found in neighbor’s backyard, police say

Robert Page (left), Christian Ponce-Martinez

Robert Page (left), Christian Ponce-Martinez

A man has been jailed after Clayton County authorities said they found the remains of his neighbor in his house.

Christian Ponce-Martinez, 25, was charged with malice murder in connection with the death of Robert Page, 76, of Morrow, Clayton police Officer Marcena Davis said in a news release Friday.

After Page’s wife reported him missing Thursday, police searched the surrounding area and viewed surveillance footage from a nearby security camera.

“Upon reviewing video surveillance, the suspect ... was observed on Robert Page’s property,” Davis said.

Officers said they found Ponce-Martinez hiding under a sofa behind his house, acting “very nervous and suspicious,” police Maj. Craig Hammer said during a news conference. Channel 2 Action News reported that Page’s cellphone was found on him by police.

Then police followed “a trail of blood,” which led them to Page’s remains. His body had been dismembered.

“Part of his body was located in a cooler, and other parts of his body were located under two tarps in the backyard,” Hammer told Channel 2.

Ponce-Martinez rented a room in a house in the 6200 block of Fieldcrest Drive, and he moved to Morrow from Mexico about three months ago, the news station reported. Tax records show Page also lived on Fieldcrest Drive.

Police told the news station that an additional obstruction charge was obtained against Ponce-Martinez for his alleged combative behavior after he was detained. He’s being held at the Clayton County Jail without bond.

An investigation is ongoing.

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