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Authorities: Body of UGA professor identified

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Efforts made to conceal body found unclothed with guns, police say
  • Cadaver dogs searching for George Zinkhan found body buried in woods, police say
  • Body was a little more than a mile from professor's Jeep
  • University of Georgia professor was suspected of killing his wife, 2 other people
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(CNN) -- The body of a University of Georgia professor accused of killing three people was found Saturday buried in woods near Athens, Georgia, authorities said.

Authorities examine a Jeep belonging to Zinkhan on May 1 in Clarke County, Georgia.

George Zinkhan, a professor at the University of Georgia, disappeared after the slayings of his wife and two others.

George Zinkhan, 57, is suspected of fatally shooting his wife and two other people last month outside a community theater in Athens, which is home to the University of Georgia.

Cadaver dogs discovered the body with two guns in a wooded area of northwest Clarke County, about a mile from where Zinkhan's red Jeep Liberty was found last week, Athens-Clarke Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin said.

Athens-Clarke County police confirmed the identity of the body, citing results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The guns are like those authorities believe were used in the shootings, Lumpkin said.

The body was found "beneath the earth," Lumpkin said, without any clothes.

"A person who's not accustomed to the woods would never have found the body," he said.

Significant "efforts" were undertaken to conceal the body's location, Jim Fullington of the GBI said.

Authorities say Zinkhan fatally shot Marie Bruce, 47, Zinkhan's wife and a prominent Athens attorney, Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, on April 25.

The victims all were associated with the Town and Gown Players, a theater group that was holding a reunion picnic at the time of the shootings.

Zinkhan arrived while the Town and Gown event was under way and got into a disagreement with his wife, police said.

Police believe he went to his car -- where the couple's children apparently were waiting -- and returned with two handguns.

In addition to the three deaths, two other people were wounded, police said.

After the shooting, Zinkhan left with his children -- ages 8 and 10 -- in the car, police said. He drove to a neighbor's home in nearby Bogart, Georgia, where he lived, and left the children with the neighbor.

Authorities put out bulletins across the nation for Zinkhan after the shootings and revealed that he had purchased a May 2 ticket in March to the Netherlands, where he owns a house.

The day of the flight passed without any sign of Zinkhan.

He had been an endowed marketing professor at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. The university fired Zinkhan the day after the shootings.

CNN's Marylynn Ryan contributed to this report.

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