A weeping relative who stumbled upon a gruesome murder scene in a Georgia mobile home screamed "My whole family is dead!" in a frantic 911 call Saturday alerting police that his father, uncle and cousins appeared to be bludgeoned to death.
"It looks like they've been beaten. I don't know what to do," said 22-year-old Guy Heinze Jr., who pleaded for help following a weekend attack at a mobile home park in southeastern Georgia that left eight dead of their injuries.
When authorities arrived Saturday morning, they found seven people dead and two clinging to life in a trash-strewn trailer in a mobile home park in Georgia. Police have refused to say how they were killed or give a possible motive. An eighth person died Sunday.
On the call, made from a neighbor's home, Heinze begs an emergency operator to send help for one of two survivors whose face was "smashed in" but was still breathing. Heinze says the survivor's name is Michael and that he has Down syndrome.
"Michael's alive, tell them to hurry!" Heinze said. "He's breathing! He needs help!"
Police on Sunday said one man rescued at the scene, 19-year-old Michael Toler, had died at a Savannah hospital. The lone remaining survivor was in critical condition, police said.
Police have so far declined to say how the victims died or disclose most details of the slaying or possible suspects, leaving Glynn County living in fear as police admit they are unsure whether a murderer is on the loose and scramble for clues.
Resident Toni Mugavin says she wonders whether she needs to sleep with a gun under her pillow, afraid the killer is roaming free and frustrated with the lack of information about what happened.
The eighth fatality came Sunday, a day after police discovered seven bodies and two survivors in a trash-strewn mobile home in Brunswick, Ga. The latest victim was Michael Toler, 19, who lived in the home and had been hospitalized Saturday. He is the lone victim police have named.
Police have refused to say how the eight were killed or give a possible motive, but have warned residents to be cautious and are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
"Be aware, be alert. Don't think everything is OK, because right now it's not," said Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering, who told reporters he did not know the killer was still in the county or even the state.
"The person or persons responsible for this still remain unknown to us," Doering said. "We just simply don't have a whole lot to go on."
That lack of information has many in the southeast Georgia city on edge.
"There's no manhunt, no suspect. Was it a murder-suicide? There's nothing specific they're telling us," the 50-year-old Mugavin said Sunday.
The victims ranged in age from teenagers to adults, with a ninth person hospitalized with critical injuries Sunday, mostly members of the same family, according to media reports.
Michael Toler, the deceased, was the son of Russell “Rusty” Toler, according to a woman who knows the family and who once managed the New Hope Mobile Home Park where the family lived, the Florida Times Union reported.
The woman told the paper that Rusty Toler and three of his other children also died in the attack, and that the surviving victim was Toler's grandson.
Police have arrested one man — a family member who lived in the mobile home and called police to report the attack, police said. Guy Heinze Jr., 22, faces charges of tampering with evidence, lying to police and illegal possession of prescription drugs and marijuana. He was jailed Sunday.
"He ... came home and discovered (the victims), at least that's what he told us," Doering said.
Asked if Heinze was involved in the slayings, Doering said: "I'm not going to rule him out, but I'm not going to characterize him as a suspect."
The killer was not among the dead or the last survivor, according to Doering.
Earlier, Doering said it was the worst murder case he had ever encountered in his 25 years with the county that includes Brunswick, a city of about 16,000 people between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, along Georgia's southeastern coast.
The slayings happened in a dingy mobile home built on the grounds of a historic plantation, nestled among centuries-old, moss-draped oak trees. The park consists of about 100 spaces and is near the center of New Hope Plantation, according to the plantation's Web site.
The 1,100-acre tract is all that remains of a Crown grant made in 1763 to Henry Laurens, who later succeeded John Hancock as president of the Continental Congress in 1777.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was conducting autopsies Sunday on four of the victims. GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Glynn County police would be in charge of releasing any results, and Doering refused to comment on them. He said autopsies on the remaining four victims would begin Monday.
Doering defended his vague statements about the case, saying he didn't want the public to know details that might compromise what he called a "tedious" investigation.
Still, the dearth of information has frustrated residents, said Mary Strickland, who owns The Georgia Pig, a popular local barbecue place.
"If it is a murder-suicide then let people know so they don't think there's some lunatic out there," Strickland said. "We got a lot of people who panic and the more information you put out there, the better you make them feel."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.