Authorities search secret grave where missing man believed to be buried, no remains found

HARALSON COUNTY, Ga. — Multiple agencies spent Friday working to exhume a “clandestine grave” in Haralson County in search of a man who vanished 34 years ago.

Bobby Gerald “Skin” Daniel was last seen leaving his construction job with a family member in the fall of 1988.

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On May 10, 2023, the sheriff’s office got a lead that included the possible location of Daniel’s body.

On May 26, officers obtained a search warrant for a property on Daniel Road, which is near Tallapoosa and about 60 miles west of Atlanta.

NewsChopper 2 was over the scene Friday on Channel 2 Action News at Noon as crews searched the area with ground-penetrating radar and a cadaver dog.

The cadaver dog did alert in the area that officials expect the remains to be found and radar did find “anomalies.”

The Haralson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday evening that they did not find Daniel’s body in the area.


Daniel’s son said Jerry Daniel was the last person known to see his father alive. He told investigators that shortly before Jerry Daniel died, he told him that he deserved to know what happened to his father, but he couldn’t tell him while he was alive.

After Jerry Daniel died, another man, who was allegedly involved, told Daniel’s son what happened to his father and where the body was, pointing investigators to the area they searched on Friday.

Officials say it is unclear if Daniel’s body was moved or if Jerry Daniel’s deathbed confession was false.

Multiple agencies were involved with the search, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office, a K-9 cadaver team, the Piedmont University Forensic Response Team and the University Forensic Response Team.

Heather Mecillas with the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office said that one wrinkle in the case is that the original case file was lost. She said they are not sure if the files got destroyed or just misplaced.

“There’s an old saying that says if only two people know the secret and one is dead, you’re never gonna find out,” Mecillas said.

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Sheriff Stacey Williams said investigators may not be able to give the family all the answers they want, but their goal is to give Daniel a proper burial.

“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,” Williams said.

The sheriff’s office has not said if they have identified any suspects connected to the case or what the motive might have been.

The investigation is ongoing.