Atlanta police are digging in a Civil War graveyard after receiving information that the body of a missing man could be buried in cemetery.
Detectives had roped off the Old South Bend Historic Cemetery on Forest Park Road in southeast Atlanta on Saturday as part of their search for Michael May. May was 24 years old when he disappeared in the spring of 2002 and detectives said in June of this year they are certain he was killed.
“We may find something. It may or may not be who we’re looking for but we’re positive the areas we’re digging may contain a grave,” Detective Vincent Velazquez said.
Police are sifting through dirt in three locations because witnesses to the burial, but not the killing, came forward and offered specific information, Velazquez said.
Cadaver dogs combed the cemetery but Velazquez said their alerts are not necessarily where police are digging.
“Where we’re at now isn’t so much (because) of the dogs alerting, it’s more because of the probing and because of what the archaeologists feel is indicative of a grave,” he said.
Velazquez told Channel 2’s Carl Willis that information police have uncovered indicates that May was kidnapped while leaving the home of his children’s mother and was taken to another location and killed.
“With his body, definitively we could say this is Michael May. We can now classify this as a murder, not just a missing person, and that would change things,” Velazquez said.
However, after clearing the debris and digging three holes the detectives realized their search would have to continue.
"We discovered that it was just a soft natural spot in the soil," said archeologist Matt Mattermes with New South Associates. "There wasn't anything there. The second one actually had a small dog that had been buried there."
Investigators said they felt certain Way's body is somewhere in the cemetery and they will continue to search there.