Truck driver charged in death of Ga. gay man

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imageA 35-year-old Georgia man was arrested late last month in the death of a gay 20-year-old man from Snellville.

Truck driver Eric Riley, faces charges of concealing the death of Lashon Lee Douglas Jr. (photo) and tampering with evidence. Douglas’ body was found March 18 in a trash container on Ga. 317 in Taylor County. Media reports about the case cited authorities who said the pair knew each but wouldn’t disclose the nature of their relationship.

[GBI Special Agent in Charge Rodney] Wall said investigators discovered that Riley knew Douglas and was with him at some point during the weekend before his body was found. He was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his home.

“We just had some tips and all that led us to his house,” said Taylor County Sheriff Jeff Watson. “We just found some items that linked him to Mr. Douglas.”

Douglas’ body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy, No cause of death has yet been found, Wall said.

“The pending autopsy results are the basis for the current charges against Riley,” Wall added. “I believe we have the sole person that was involved.”

Watson said Riley has made statements to authorities, though he declined to release them.

But Douglas has been identified as gay by Darian Aaron, a blogger and contributer to Project Q Atlanta.

Douglas was laid to rest last Saturday in Marietta, Georgia. Friends have created a Myspace page in his memory. And while it is unknown if Douglas was open about his sexual orientation to his family, photos posted on the aforementioned Myspace profile along with credible reports to confirm Douglas was gay and also went by the name Arielle Redd.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the case. Additional charges may be filed against Riley once an autopsy is completed.

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