Police: Missing man found murdered near neighbor's backyard

Image 1 of 2

What began as a search for a well-respected member of the Clayton County community has now turned into a murder investigation.

Authorities found the body of Clayton County minister Robert Page Thursday night not far from his home.

Now the man wanted for his murder is behind bars.

Family and friends filled Page's home Friday, bringing hugs, tears, and prayers.

"Dearly loved, he was loved by many," Nancy Jones said, adding that she rushed to the family as soon as she heard the news.

Page was reported missing around 5 p.m. Thursday. When police began searching they started right next door.

His neighbor, Martinez Ponce, was seen outside the Page home earlier in the day, police said.

"Officers went to the back of the residence, and located the offender, hiding under a couch, acting very nervous and suspicious," a spokesperson for the Clayton County Police Department said. "Officers then noticed a trail of blood, in the backyard. They followed the trail, which led them to the victim, Mr. Page's dismembered remains."

Investigators said that Ponce had lived nearby for about three months. They have yet established a motive.

Meanwhile friends and family continue to gather at Page's home. They are asking for prayers for his now-widowed wife.

The investigation is ongoing.