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[July 30, 2013]
GBI rules Sublett's death as suicide
Jul 30, 2013 (The Brunswick News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has closed its investigation into the death of former Glynn County Commissioner Tom Sublett by reaching the same conclusion the state medical examiner had reached previously: The death was a suicide.
Mike McDaniel, special agent in charge of the bureau's Kingsland office, said the investigation was closed this past week. It had been ongoing since Sublett was found Dec. 11, 2012, floating in the Frederica River, on the west side of St. Simons Island at Gascoigne Bluff Park.
His hands were bound in front of him with a type of plastic strap commonly used to hold wires or cables. He had a gunshot wound to his head.
A police inventory of evidence from his car parked nearby listed a packet of ties, numerous bullets and a gun holster. McDaniel said Monday investigators -- including police divers -- never found a gun.
The GBI investigation continued after the medical examiner determined in February that Sublett had committed suicide.
"The GBI State Medical Examiner, Dr. Jamie Downs, has ruled this death as a suicide. The GBI Kingsland investigation parallels Dr. Downs' findings," McDaniel wrote Monday in an email.
Sublett's family said in February through its lawyer, Mark Johnson, that it would contest the examiner's finding by asking for a Glynn County coroner's inquest.
Although the family still did not agree with the finding and hired an independent forensic pathologist to examine Sublett's body, it decided in April not to pursue the inquest. Johnson said then that family members decided the inquiry would not change the fact that Sublett had died.
Johnson did not immediately return a telephone call Monday from The News.
Sublett was last seen alive at about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 2012, when he dropped off a friend in western Glynn County after a regular, low-stakes poker game.
After not returning home that night, Sublett's wife, Carol Sublett, called police to report him missing. Several friends joined the search that night, one of whom found his car at Gascoigne Bluff Park at about 4 a.m. Dec. 11, 2012.
Two hours later, at about 6 a.m., Sublett was found dead, floating between a dock and a boat in the Frederica River, about a half mile from his house in Hamilton Landing on St. Simons Island, .
Sublett would have completed his only four-year term representing St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea islands on the Glynn County Commission Dec. 31, 2012. He had decided not to seek re-election this past November.
At the time of his death, he was working as a commercial real estate agent with Parker-Kaufman Realtors in Brunswick.
-- Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at mhall@thebruns wick news.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.
___ (c)2013 The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.) Visit The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.) at www.thebrunswicknews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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