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Language barrier hinders death probe
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Forsyth County News

No arrests have been made in the November beating death of a 49-year-old man near the Midway community.

The death of Guillermo Lira, whose body was found by family members Nov. 24 at 5180 Atlanta Highway, has been ruled a homicide.

Lira was also the key witness in a local prostitution investigation.

Lt. Col. Gene Moss of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said authorities are still looking into the man's death.

"One of the problems we're having in this case is the limited amount of people that we have that speak Spanish," Moss said. "All of the people involved in this are Spanish-speaking, so that's slowed us down."

Moss said authorities think more than one person was involved in the slaying. Autopsy reports show Lira died as a result of blunt force trauma.

According to a sheriff's report, the residence had been ransacked and Lira was lying face down in a pool of blood when emergency responders arrived.

He was not wearing a shirt, his feet were bound with a white rope and there were several bruises on Lira's back, the report said. Lira "appeared to have been dead for some time."

Authorities first encountered Lira in early October at a nearby home, which they suspect was used for prostitution.

Responding to reports of a robbery, sheriff's deputies found a badly beaten Lira.

Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton has said that investigation stalled because Lira refused to cooperate, going so far as to deny he had been beaten.