Cherokee County

Remains found behind home identified as that of prominent Atlanta attorney

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Human remains found on a Cherokee County property are that of a local attorney.

Earlier this month, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home along Purcell Lane after a family member found a body in a wooded area behind the house.

Channel 2 Action News learned the body is that of local prominent attorney Gary Farris. Records show Farris owns the property.

Key details are slowly coming in from what is now a homicide investigation.

[READ: GBI: It could take 'days or weeks' to identify remains found in Cherokee County]

"Is it a home invasion that went bad? Somebody got shot? Was it a family thing?" neighbor Stuart

Seymour told Channel 2's Carl Willis are some of the questions he wants answered.

A news release from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said: "The Sheriff’s Office is confident that this is not a stranger-on-stranger crime and Mr. Farris knew the suspect(s)."

Neighbors said told Willis that the crime was a shock to the community. They also said the investigation and the questions that followed have done little to calm fears.

“The police asked if I smelled anything burning,”” Seymour said. "(We’re) a little nervous, in fact. My wife saw the police and said, ‘Well, do we need to be worried?’"


Cherokee county investigators aren't saying much, but they assured residents that the killer was someone who Ferris knew.

Neighbors hope that helps investigators narrow down the list of who could have done this.

"I think any time you have a mystery like that, you'd like to know what the police at least think," Seymour said.

According to its website, Farris is a partner with the Burr and Forman law firm in Atlanta, saying he "has extensive experience in representing commercial lending institutions in the financing and management of commercial real estate, including construction, term and revolving loan facilities, loan syndications, and participations."

Earlier in the day, the firm sent Channel 2's Wendy Halloran a statement saying:

"We are devastated by this news and mourn the loss of our colleague and friend, Gary Farris. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary’s family and friends, including everyone here at Burr. 

"We understand there is an ongoing investigation into the cause of Gary’s death, so it would be inappropriate for us to speculate or comment at this time. We intend to cooperate with the investigation, while protecting attorney-client confidences."