A gay East Point man missing for weeks was killed, his body discovered near Turner Field in Atlanta after being shot several times in a homicide with links to five people that crisscrosses the state.
The body of Thomas Entrekin (top photo), 54, was found on March 3 as investigators with the Conyers Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation searched along Hank Aaron Drive in Atlanta. Entrekin was shot several times in the torso, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office.
Less than two weeks later, on March 15, the GBI charged Darrian Mathew McDaniel (bottom photo), 27, with murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery in connection with Entrekin's death. McDaniel was already in the Rockdale County Jail facing charges related to a series of home invasions. Conyers police said they arrested McDaniel, Demitric Lawson, 19, and a 15-year-old juvenile in early February after they allegedly led police on a high-speed chase in Entrekin's new F-150 pickup truck after a home invasion.
Entrekin was reported missing on Jan. 29 – a few weeks after he was apparently last seen in East Point picking up a load of tile. He was a long-time East Point resident who lived in Meadow Lark Estates until a fire severely damaged his home a few years ago. That's when he moved to a family farm he inherited in Blakely in Early County, about 190 miles southwest of Atlanta.
Because Entrekin lived on the farm, it took friends in Atlanta a few weeks before realizing he was missing, Will Humphrey, a friend and neighbor in East Point, told Project Q Atlanta in February.
On Jan. 9, a day after Entrekin was last seen in metro Atlanta, two women were spotted trying to use one of Entrekin's credit cards in a Kroger on Moreland Avenue in southeast Atlanta.
Conyers police investigated Entrekin's disappearance after the high-speed chase with McDaniel, traveled to Early County to meet with investigators there and called in the GBI when they exhausted their leads, according to Officer Kim Lucas, a spokesperson for the Conyers Police Department.
“We desperately wanted to find out what happened to Tommy,” Lucas said. “We were working closely with agents and our investigators along with the GBI were together when we located the body off Hank Aaron Drive. We had been in the area running down leads.”
The investigation showed that McDaniel was in possession of Entrekin's truck for some time, Lucas said. WSB reported in February that McDaniel had selfies on his phone that he took in a gas station with Entrekin's vehicle in the background.
Humphrey, who helped collect Entrekin's cats and dog from the Early County home, told WALB that Entrekin's murder has shocked friends and family.
“All of us friends and close family are shocked. Most are devastated. We just can't believe, and nobody ever thinks this would happen to them, or friends. Nobody expects that, and nobody expected it to be Tommy,” said Will Humphrey, a close friend of Entrekin.
In an interview with Project Q, Humphrey described Entrekin as “fiercely loyal” and someone who had a strong rapport with his neighbors. He is also a horticulturalist and arborist.
“Sweet tea and fresh cut flowers were never absent when Tommy would visit a friend,” he said. “He would always call before showing up, would bring pound cake and share homemade mac and cheese. He may have lived alone but he was not alone.”
A memorial service was held at Manry Jordan Hodges Funeral Home in Blakely on March 18. A celebration of Enterkin's life is scheduled for Atkins Park in Atlanta on Saturday at 3 p.m.