Samuel Waters went missing from his Lawrenceville home two years ago. Court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News point toward prosecutors’ lone suspect and detail Waters’ alleged murder.
Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Court document tells gruesome details of missing Gwinnett man’s death

Samuel Waters went missing from his Lawrenceville home two years ago. Court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News point toward prosecutors’ lone suspect and detail Waters’ alleged murder.

Waters was choked unconscious and suffocated with a plastic bag by a man who had fathered children with the same woman as him, a motion filed by Gwinnett County prosecutors said.

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The man then took Waters’ body to Lake Lanier, attempted to burn it and later cut it into pieces and buried it in Hall County, the document said. 

The AJC is not identifying the man, described in the document as the “lone suspect,” because he has not been charged. The man’s family told Channel 2 that neither he nor any other member of their family was involved.

Prosecutors say the man killed Waters because the man’s ex-wife gave him an ultimatum:  “fix things with Samuel” — get Waters to leave her and the daughter Waters fathered alone — or the man wouldn’t see his children again.

The man showed up to Waters’ Lawrenceville home on the night of Jan. 4, 2015, saying the two would go buy beer, the document says. The man would later tell police that he had dropped Waters on the side of the road around 10:30 p.m.

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At 11:30 p.m that night, the man called his ex-wife distraught and suicidal, the woman told police. He could be heard asking a convenience store clerk for lighter fluid and told the woman she should be “grateful” for what he had done.

“Do you know what I have done for you?” the man said, according to the document. “You should be thankful that [Samuel] isn’t in your life anymore.”

The man then drove Waters’ body to his family’s Buford lake house on Lake Lanier and attempted to burn it, but buried it in a shallow grave when it didn’t burn “fast enough.” The man later cut the body “in pieces” and buried the pieces near Lake Lanier in Hall County.

The man’s girlfriend told police he asked to be sent to a mental hospital to shore up a “back-up” insanity defense. 

Waters’ aunt told Channel 2 that the family hopes to move on and find closure.

“We are very hopeful that not only will they be able to move forward and press charges, but also we will be able to find where Samuel's body is buried,” Deborah Layfield told Channel 2. 

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