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Man kidnapped 3 near Georgia Southern, sexually assaulted 2, killed himself, GBI says

A man kidnapped three women at knifepoint near Georgia Southern University and sexually assaulted two of them in another county before killing himself, the GBI said.

Bradley Justin Cochran, who was wanted on kidnapping charges in Bulloch County and sexual assault charges in Candler County, was located late Monday morning in Metter, which is about 187 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta, according to a statement from the Candler County Sheriff’s Office.

“The suspect was found deceased (from an) apparent suicide,” Statesboro police said in a tweet. “There is no further danger to the public regarding this incident.”

 

The GBI is conducting the investigation with Statesboro police and the Candler County Sheriff’s Office.

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According to GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles, Cochran “forcefully entered a vehicle occupied by three females” late Sunday. He was armed with a knife, she said.

Once inside the vehicle, he allegedly forced the women to drive from the parking lot of a Bulloch County grocery store to Candler County. There, “he sexually assaulted two of the female occupants,” Miles said. “The females fled the vehicle on foot and the suspect fled the area in the stolen vehicle.”

 

Cochran was found just after 10:15 a.m. Monday.

He will be taken to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah to determine the official cause and manner of death, Miles said.

Georgia Southern issued an alert to students about the abduction, which occurred about 9 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Food World on Fair Road.

 

However, school spokeswoman Jennifer Wise would not confirm if the victims were affiliated with Georgia Southern.

“Due to privacy laws,” she told AJC.com in an emailed statement, “we are unable to confirm or deny whether the individuals involved are enrolled.”

She referred questions to Statesboro police.

 

In other news:

Channel 2's Justin Wilfon is in Florida with the latest on the investigation.

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