By Tia Lynn Ivey
The peculiar death of a local Buckhead man has been officially ruled a suicide by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office after the body of John Charles Martin, 48, was found in the back of his pickup truck parked in the Wildlife Management Area on Checking Station Road in Putnam County last week.
According to Putnam County law enforcement officials Martin, a Desert Storm veteran with a long history of mental illness, committed suicide by stabbing himself in the chest on March 13.
“It was a bizarre thing,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills. Sills noted this was not Martin’s first suicide attempt.
“A year ago, almost to the day, he had set himself on fire in Hancock County,” said Sills. “A couple years before that, he apparently slit his wrists in the mountains of Tennessee.”
Martin’s body was discovered on the morning of March 14 by two researchers with the National Wild Turkey Association scouting the remote area when they spotted martin’s gray 2015 Dodge Ram Pickup truck on Checking Station Road just a few miles off Highway 212, on the southwest end of Putnam County. Sills noted that a passing cyclists had also reported the vehicle to authorities before the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene.
“We believe he killed himself the night or day before,” said Sills. “It’s a sad situation of veteran who served his country honorably but came home with some kind of problems he just couldn’t deal it.”