Senoia teen identified as murder victim

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Newnan Police on Thursday identified the body of a male found Dec. 19 by passers-by in a creek at the SummerGrove residential development as that of 17-year-old Senoia resident Blake Tyler Chappell who had been missing since mid-October.

Autopsy results indicated that Chappell’s death was a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound.

Newnan Deputy Police Chief Rodney Riggs said the Coweta 911 center during the mid-afternoon hours of Dec. 19 received a call from passers-by saying that they thought there was a body in the creek near the bridge on Summergrove Parkway.

Riggs said Newnan officers were dispatched to the scene, where they met the caller. A check of the creek did find a body, floating face down, Riggs said.

The body appeared to be that of an adult male. The body was clothed in only an undershirt and underpants and was recovered by officers of the Newnan Police Dept. and Newnan firefighters.

Riggs said decomposition had begun on the body, adding that there was no form of identification found on or around the body. The body was subsequently taken for an autopsy to the GBI medical examiner’s office in Decatur.

Riggs said a check of missing person reports found a report of a missing 17-year-old male that fit the general description of the body. That report was filed on Oct. 16.

Riggs said Newnan detectives contacted the family of the missing person in an effort to obtain additional information to determine if the body is that of the missing person.

The autopsy results were released Wednesday, revealing that the cause of death was a gunshot wound, Riggs said. Additional information from the autopsy has not been released.

Riggs said that based on jewelry found on the body and a particular tattoo, the person has been identified as Blake Tyler Chappell, 17 years old, from Senoia. Chappell was the person reported missing on Oct. 16, Riggs said.

Riggs said Chappell was last seen in the early morning hours of Oct. 16 at a friend’s house in the Olmstead subdivision near Vanderbilt Parkway.

Chappell left the friend’s house walking in route to another friend’s house on Highwoods Parkway in the SummerGrove subdivision. He never arrived at the friend’s house, Riggs said.

Later that day, Chappell was reported missing to the Newnan Police Dept. by his family and friends, adding that there had been no known contact by Chappell with his family or friends since Oct. 16.