Murder Suspect Recaptured
According to the Perry Police Department, a viewer watching the news on WCTV identified John Woods and called authorities, who arrested Woods.
Woods was captured on Sunday morning, Jan. 16, after stepping off a Greyound bus in Perry.
The Berrien County, Ga. District Attorney’s Office issued the following statement on Sunday: “Due in part to the excellent job by the media in publicizing his absconding from house arrest, John Woods was recognized getting off a bus in Perry, Florida this morning. The concerned citizen who spotted him immediately contacted law enforcement, and he was taken into custody. We will, of course, seek to extradite him back to Georgia as soon as possible. On behalf of the victim’s family, I want to thank you all for your publicizing this matter, thank the alert citizen for his/her quick action and thank law enforcement for their tireless efforts and hard work.”
Chief Deputy Ray Paulk, of the Berrien County, Ga. Sheriff’s Office, said that John Woods had posted a $150,000 property bond and had been issued a tracking bracelet about a month after his arrest in 2009.
Paulk said that Woods had been granted small liberties, such as being allowed to leave his home to go to the doctor, but other than those, he had to remain at home.
On a Thursday afternoon in December, Paulk said that the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office had received a call from Woods’ mother that Woods was not at home.
Paulk said that the sheriff’s office had contacted Watchdog, a Douglas, Ga.-based company who provides the tracking bracelets. Watchdog said that they had gotten an alert on the bracelet around midnight on Wednesday morning, Dec. 29. For whatever reason, they had not contacted Berrien County authorities.
When asked if law officers had any indication where Woods might be, Paulk said, “No. I don’t think he’s anywhere around here, though. There’s no telling what part of the world he’s concentrating on.”
Details of the crime committed in 2009 were as follows:
On Oct. 2, a telephone call to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the two-state murder investigation.
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the caller reported finding what appeared to be charred human skeletal remains. Sgt. Randy Jansch responded to the location west of Highway 53 and south of Interstate 10 in Madison County. The remains were later identified as those of Travis A. Sauls of Berrien County, Ga.
Jansch called Capt. Mark W. Joost, the Chief Investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, to assist at the scene.
Sheriff Ben Stewart, Chief Deputy Epp Richardson, Sgt. Inv. Tina DeMotsis and Bill Pfeil, FDLE Special Investigator, also responded to the scene.
Within hours, John D. Woods, a 36-year-old white male resident of Ray City, Ga., was identified as a potential suspect in the homicide.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, Woods surrendered to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville, Ga.
The subsequent investigation revealed that on the previous Monday, Sept. 28, or Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, Woods killed an individual in Berrien County, Ga. He then transported the body to the secluded area south of Interstate 10 in Madison County.
Woods was charged with concealing a death by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.