CARROLLTON, Ga. – Authorities said today that state Senator Jim Preuitt's grandson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The teen was reported missing last week and was found dead in Georgia.
Carroll County, Ga., Coroner Sammy Eady said the cause of death of 17-year-old Benjamin Stanford of Lincoln, Ala., was "contact gunshot of the head."
The sheriff's department said the investigation would continue.
Chief Deputy Brad Robinson said that tomorrow members of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office would meet in Stanford's hometown with the local Alabama Bureau of Investigation Division and Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel.
The teenager's body was found by volunteers who came from Alabama to search after he disappeared Nov. 5. His silver Jeep Grand Cherokee was found near a Villa Rica, Ga., exit on Interstate 20 that day, and the body was found about 1,000 feet away.
Stanford was a senior at The Donoho School in Anniston, and the grandson of Preuitt, a Talladega Democrat.