Man confessed to murder of 19-year-old found in wooded area near Lake Lanier, deputies say

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 19-year-old whose body was found in Hall County.

Deputies said a decomposed body was found in a wooded area off Paradise Point Road in Flowery Branch on June 20. They later identified the victim as Sarai Gomez.

That investigation led them to the Gwinnett County home of Timothy Krueger, who has now confessed to the killing.

Police say he stabbed Gomez, who had just come to the U.S. with hopes of bringing her family too.

Investigators said he met the Ecuadorian mother for sex before killing her.

“We believe that Sarai was involved in sex work and that she had come into contact with Mr. Krueger through that occupation,” said Sgt. Jennifer Richter with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Gwinnett police and Hall County sheriff’s deputies believe Krueger stabbed Gomez on June 16 at his home on Cardinal Lake Drive.

Four days later, authorities found her body in a wooded area in Flowery Branch.

“We believe he killed her here in Gwinnett at his home in Duluth and dumped her at the location in Hall County,” Richter said.

Police say they were able to find some evidence on Gomez’s phone that linked her to Krueger.


They say once Gwinnett police arrested him Thursday and brought him in for questioning, he cooperated.

“At which time he admitted that he in fact killed Gomez,” Richter said.

Her grieving mother has been pleading for help with the case from Ecuador while caring for Gomez’s two small children.

She said her daughter came to Chicago in 2021 to work as a waitress at first.

Now that an arrest has been made, a separate investigation is underway to see how Gomez ended up in the metro doing sex work.

“There’s an ongoing investigation into whether she was being trafficked or not,” Richter said.

Homeland Security is also investigating parts of Gomez’s case to try and get answers for her family.

Police say this is a reminder of the dangers of sex work.

“Certainly, sex work and sex trafficking is an ongoing issue. Anyone that is involved in that line of work, that’s being trafficked, we want to try to help those people as much as we can, and we have a lot of resources invested in combatting human trafficking,” Richter said.