By Kathy Jefcoats
An Augusta teen found stabbed to death on family property belonging to a former longtime Riverdale mayor Feb. 7 apparently lived in her son's home before he was killed.
Josh "D.J." Bargeron, 18, was stabbed multiple times and left for dead in the pasture behind four homes owned by the Lee family on Ga. Highway 81 East three miles outside of McDonough.
Family matriarch Mary Lee, 69, was Riverdale mayor for about a dozen years before losing a re-election bid in November. Lee said her attorney advised the family to not publicly discuss the case.
"We'd rather not say anything right this minute," said Lee. "We'd just really rather not talk about it until we know right or wrong. We're just going to sit and wait and sit and hope and pray everything will be fine."
Henry County police Lt. Ken Turner on Wednesday confirmed that Bargeron stayed at the home of Mary Lee's son Tim Lee, based on information gleaned from the ongoing investigation. No one has been charged in connection with the death. Tim Lee has not been charged with a crime and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
"We have information that Mr. Bargeron had been visiting McDonough and stayed at the gentleman's house," said Turner. "He thought that Mr. Bargeron had left but didn't know that he was ?missing.' He thought that Mr. Bargeron had just moved on."
Lee reportedly told Bargeron's mother that Josh Bargeron moved out Dec. 18, the day Tammy Bargeron last talked to her son. It was his 18th birthday. Tammy Bargeron said earlier this week that she believes her son may be the victim of a hate crime "because he was gay and he dated black guys."
Although Bargeron's boyfriend, Christopher Glass, said he has been told there are at least two male suspects in the case, Turner declined to identify a specific suspect, saying, "everybody's a suspect."
"We're talking to people who were in his company in the weeks before his death and that includes his mother and Chris Glass," said Turner, "and the gentleman he visited in McDonough. We didn't get a whole lot of workable information from his mother and friends. He apparently spent a lot of time chatting online."
Bargeron's mother said Monday that her son met someone from Henry County online n a man she believes drove to her Augusta home to pick him up. She said she'd warned her son of the dangers of meeting strangers online.
Police have not released a suspected time of death.
"We're trying to put together his last known moments in a timeline," Turner said, "and see what that produces for us."
Police apparently executed a search warrant at the Tim Lee home, taking away trace evidence. Tim Lee reportedly recently replaced a carpet and complained of having to patch holes in the walls of his home.