GBI serves search warrant in murder case

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GBI agents searched the home of a Brantley County man last week as they continue investigating a 1985 murder case that has been reopened. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been re-examining the murders of Harold and Thelma Swain and looking at Erik Sparre as a possible suspect. “Agents...

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GBI agents searched the home of a Brantley County man last week as they continue investigating a 1985 murder case that has been reopened.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been re-examining the murders of Harold and Thelma Swain and looking at Erik Sparre as a possible suspect.

“Agents continue to work to determine what involvement Erik Sparre had in the Swains’ death,” according to a GBI press release. “To date, the investigation remains active with tips and leads provided by the public.”

Attorneys for Dennis Perry — the man convicted of killing the Swains — brought new DNA evidence to the court’s attention this spring that indicates Sparre may have been involved in the murders.

A hair sample from Sparre’s mom led to DNA testing that showed Sparre, who has not been charged and denies any involvement, falls into the 0.4% of the population that can’t be excluded. The DNA sample came from hair stuck in a pair of glasses — presumably worn by the murderer — that were found at the crime scene. 

Perry’s conviction was overturned in July and he was released on bond after a judge granted his motion for a new trial. Whether he’s charged with the murders a second time is up to the district attorney’s office, which is waiting on GBI’s findings.

The search warrant was for the Waynesville home where Sparre lived with his mother, Gladys, who died in July. GBI is also investigating her death.

Anyone with any information pertinent to the Swain investigation should contact the GBI tip line at 1-800-597-8477.