In the fall of 1988, Bobby Gerald “Skin” Daniel was seen leaving his construction job in Haralson County with a relative. He was never seen again.
But on May 10, Capt. Donnie Mapp with the Haralson sheriff’s office got a tip that investigators believed could help solve the cold case. Mapp met with Daniel’s son, who said a “confidential informant” had told him a possible location for his father’s body.
On Friday, a search warrant was obtained and served on a property on Daniel Road in the Tallapoosa area, about 60 miles west of Atlanta. Multiple agencies, including the GBI, joined the sheriff’s office with radar and a cadaver dog. At one point, the dog and the technology alerted to “anomalies” in the area, the sheriff’s office said. The digging continued that afternoon.
By Friday evening, the search had been called off because no human remains were found, Sheriff Stacy Williams said. But investigators won’t stop until they can get answers for the Daniel family.
“We are very disappointed in the outcome today, our goal was to be able to give this family some closure and their loved one back so they could bury him,” Williams said in a social media post. “When leads like this come in, we will exhaust every effort to try and solve the case and get answers for the family.”
Daniel was last seen with a family member named Jerry Daniel, the sheriff’s office said. Jerry Daniel died earlier this year, and that’s when the informant came forward to Skin Daniel’s son, investigators said.
“A short time after the death of Jerry Daniel, someone from outside the family came to him and told him what had happened to his father, who was allegedly involved and the location,” the sheriff’s office said.
The tipster did not want to speak to investigators but told an officer of the court the same information, including where the body was buried.
During the hours-long dig Friday, there were signs the grounds had been disturbed, but nothing was located. That’s when the search ended.
Among those involved in the search Friday was the Piedmont University forensic response team, which is comprised of students who have completed forensic coursework. The Banks County Sheriff’s Office’s forensic manager and Warner Robins police department forensic lab director were also involved.
“At this time, we do not know if the body was moved after it was buried at that location or if the deathbed confession of Jerry Daniel was not true,” the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators have not released details on how Daniel may have died. They are hopeful that others with information on the case will come forward.
“This is an over 34-year-old missing person case. That is 34 years of his family not knowing where he was or what happened to him,” Sheriff Stacy Williams said in a social media post. “We may not be able to give them all the answers they want, but our goal is to be able to give Mr. Bobby Daniel back to his family for a proper burial.”
Anyone with information for investigators is asked to contact the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office.
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Credit: University System of Georgia