Fugitive Prof's Body Found Half-Buried

Search dogs uncovered body near George Zinkhan's abandoned car.

ByABC News
April 27, 2009, 11:53 AM

May 9, 2009— -- A Georgia professor accused of a triple murder appears to have half-buried himself in dirt and leaves before shooting himself, police said today after cadaver dogs found George Zinkhan's body concealed in a thickly wooded area.

"I've only seen it once in my 39 years where a person purposely tried to conceal the body after what in that case was a suicide," Clarke County, Ga., police Chief Joseph Lumpkin said today.

After testing, the body found today in Bogart, Ga., was positively identified as Zinkhan, the University of Georgia marketing professor accused of killing three people April 25.

Zinkhan allegedly opened fire on an Athens, Ga., theater group that included his wife, Marie Bruce.

Zinkhan, 57, was last seen driving his red 2005 Jeep Liberty, which was located about a week after the shootings. The body was found concealed by dirt and brush in the woods about 1.3 miles away from the car.

Police also found two guns near the body that they said were consistent with the guns used in the shootings that occured near the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

Until an autopsy is completed, police will not know the exact cause of death, but investigators said today they believe Zinkhan killed himself.

"There's no indication of anyone else involved with the death of this body," Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Jim Fullington said.

Police say Zinkhan drove to a reunion picnic for volunteers of the Town & Gown Players outside the Athens Community Theatre April 25, with his two children in tow. His son and daughter, ages 8 and 10, were left in the car while he allegedly stormed the gathering with two handguns and started shooting.