The body of Joey Holloway, 27, was found around 1 p.m. Saturday about a half-mile from the Camp Merrill campsite on Forest Service Road 28-1, said Lt. Wesley Burnett, spokesman for the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Before the weekend tragedy, Holloway was arrested last month as a suspect in a string of burglaries in the Clayton community and in April was in a single-car accident that left his daughter and stepdaughters injured.
In a news release Monday, Burnett said Holloway’s 26-year-old wife, Sylvia Holloway, reported her husband missing just before 7 p.m. Friday.
She and Holloway and two children had just arrived at the campsite off Camp Wahsega Road the previous evening.
“When they awoke on (Friday), Joey indicated he was going for a walk. Joey never returned, so Sylvia (Holloway) called law enforcement,” he said in the release.
Assisted by Lumpkin County Fire and Emergency Services personnel, tracking dogs from Dawson and Forsyth counties, Fannin County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Georgia State Patrol units, and the Camp Frank D. Merrill Fire Department, Lumpkin Sheriff’s deputies began searching for the man.
Burnett told the Tribune on Monday that Holloway’s body was found Saturday afternoon along the creek bank, not in the water, and despite claims that Holloway was fishing near the creek, officials do not believe that to be the case.
“We don’t have knowledge that he was fishing at this point,” Burnett said.
Burnett said in the release officials do not suspect foul play. He did not disclose further details regarding the condition of the body and the circumstances surrounding Holloway’s death.
The investigation was ongoing and autopsy results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were pending, Burnett said.
Holloway was the driver in an April 20 single-car accident that injured his daughter and two stepdaughters after he drove off Highway 108 near James White Trail in Waleska and hit a tree.
His 2-year-old daughter was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with a skull fracture and then flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite’s Intensive Care Unit.
She was released after just five days in the hospital. His two stepdaughters, who were 4 and 7 years old, also recovered from their injuries, their mother, Sylvia Holloway told the Tribune about a week after the accident.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has yet to release the cause of the crash.
“Traffic investigators are still waiting for the toxicology report from the crime lab,” Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday.
Less than a month after the accident, Holloway was arrested in connection with a rash of burglaries in the Clayton community.
At the time of the arrest, Baker said Holloway was a suspect in two of the eight crimes and was charged with two counts of burglary.
Just a week before the charges, Baker said Joey and Sylvia Holloway had been released from the Bartow County Jail on charges of theft by receiving stolen property.
Baker said the Holloways allegedly sold stolen jewelry from Cherokee County to a precious metal dealer in Cartersville and jewelry was one of the primary targets in the Clayton community burglaries.
Baker said burglars gained access to the homes by kicking in the doors and also took electronics and three guns from the homes.