Cobb County

Man who was kidnapped, found dead in truck on golf course remembered as ‘extraordinary man’

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — More than a week after police found three people dead at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, a friend established a GoFundMe page for one of the victims from out of state.

Cobb police officers found Henry Valdez, 46, and Paul Pierson, 76, gagged, bound with tape and shot death to death in the bed of a pickup truck on July 3, an arrest warrant shows.

Valdez is from California and Pierson is from Kansas, police said.

Police said golf pro Gene Siller, 46, was killed when he came across the crime in progress on the 10th hole.

Bryan Rhoden is accused of killing Siller, Valdez and Pierson.

Police have not revealed if Rhoden had a previous relationship with Valdez and Pierson.

According to online public records, Valdez served prison time in Illinois. He was arrested in 2004 for manufacturing and distributing more than 5,000 grams of cannabis.


“We hope to learn everything. This wasn’t a random act. I don’t think this was a random act,” said Pinetree Country Club president Lou Bottino.

Bottino met exclusively with Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose.

“There was a person from the other side of town, there’s an individual from Kansas, there’s an individual from California. These people just didn’t show up and meet. There’s something else going on here,” said Bottino.

On a GoFundMe page established for Valdez, the organizer wrote:

“Henry was an extraordinary man, he was always the first to say yes when someone needed his help, the first to say yes to volunteer for those less fortunate. He spent countless hours giving to those in need. His always positive attitude and his attention left you feeling like you were the most important person. He was taken far too early, and he will be missed by all those who knew him.”

A private funeral was held for Siller on Monday.

“Gene had a real passion for junior golf and for mentoring young professionals entering the industry,” said Bottino.

Georgia PGA established a scholarship in Siller’s name.

Checks also may be made payable to:

Georgia PGA Foundation

Memo: Gene Siller Memorial Grant

2205 Northside Drive NW, Suite 140, Atlanta, GA 30305

The grant will provide financial assistance to competitive junior golfers in need throughout the state of Georgia.

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