According to Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, the Major Crimes Unit and the Sheriff’s Office are conducting a murder investigation involving a Gaylesville man. On Thursday, January 28, 2016, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a missing person from the family of 38 year-old Scott E. Abernathy. The investigation led authorities to suspect Abernathy had been shot and his body dumped in the river. Law enforcement and the Cherokee County Rescue Squad located Mr. Abernathy’s body on Friday, January 29, 2016, in the Chattooga River.
Investigators arrested Ben T. McCool, 48, of Gaylesville, on charges of domestic violence and child abuse in an unrelated case. He now faces murder charges.
Sheriff Shaver stated he appreciates the assistance of the Major Crimes Unit, the Cherokee County Rescue Squad, ALEA’s Marine Police and Aviation Unit, and the JSU Center for Applied Forensic Sciences. The case remains under investigation by the Cherokee County Major Crimes Unit.