Note: The following release was provided by the Paulding County Sheriffs Office.

PAULDING COUNTY – Detectives got confirmation on Wednesday October 11, 2023 that the deceased “John Doe” that was located behind a local Zaxby’s restaurant was positively identified.

The deceased individual has been identified as Joshua Bryan Gels (W/M, 40 YOA) of Douglasville, GA. Gels had been estranged from his family and according to them, lived a transient lifestyle.

Deputies found Gels body on July 27, 2023 in the area of the dumpsters at the Zaxby’s restaurant which is located at 202 Hillside Overlook Dallas, GA 30157 (in front of the Walmart on Marietta Highway).

Deputies found Gels deceased as a result of what Detectives initially believed was an overdose.

After he was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab, an autopsy was performed. The preliminary autopsy toxicology results confirmed that Gels died as a result of an overdose and that there was no foul play suspected in his death.

We would like to thank the countless tipsters who assisted in helping Detectives obtain his identity. Remember, if you have any information about criminal activity, please feel free to call the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Tip Line at (770) 443-3047 or send a message via the Paulding Sheriff mobile app.

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