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North Forsyth graduate found dead in Rome, suspect charged with murder
RISNER, BRANDON CHRISTOPHER
Brandon Christopher Risner, 21, was arrested on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Rome in connection with the death of Arron William Davis, 21, of Cumming. Risner is charged with felony murder, concealing the death of another, aggravated assault and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers

A 21-year-old from Cumming was found dead in Rome over the weekend, and an apparent former classmate has been arrested for murder in the case. 

According to a news release from the Rome Police Department, Aaron William Davis, 21, of Cumming, was found dead in Rome on Saturday, Nov. 12 after his vehicle was found abandoned and family members reportedly told police Davis was “overdue meeting friends in Alabama.”

“Officers began conducting a missing person investigation,” the release said. “Signs of foul play were discovered at the location Mr. Davis was last known to have been. As the investigation continued and leads were followed, the deceased body of Mr. Davis was discovered off Tumlin Drive.”

A Rome PD spokesperson said Davis had several wounds that appeared to be from a bladed weapon. 

According to the Floyd County Jail’s website, the suspect in the case, Brandon Christopher Risner, also 21, was arrested on Saturday and is being held on no bond with charges of felony murder, concealing the death of another, aggravated assault and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers. 

According to Forsyth County Schools officials, Davis graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2019 and Risner last attended the school in 2018. 

In a Facebook post, Randy Davis, Aaron Davis’s father, said his son graduated from Brigham Young University–Idaho in April, completed an internship over the summer and had just passed an entrance exam for a master’s degree program the last time his family spoke with him. 

"We will always love him and miss him,” Randy Davis wrote in the post. “He was glue in our family dynamic with special ties to each of his siblings and parents. He was loved by his friends. We are still trying to make sense of this tragedy and why this happened. He was always a kid at heart but also so smart and embraced the adulthood that he needed to.” 

According to warrants taken out for his arrest, Risner reportedly "was involved in an altercation with the victim which caused the death of the victim and then removed the body from the location to another in an attempt to hide the crime" and ran from and disobeyed all commands to stop police during the missing person investigation.

Davis’s vehicle was reportedly found at a park on Saturday morning more than 2 miles away from his body. 

“He was positively identified at the scene by his college identification,” the release said. “Exact cause of death will be determined at the GBI Crime Lab with the pending autopsy.”

The release said “witnesses on the scene were cooperative with investigators and provided information that led them to identify the suspect.”

After the felony murder warrant was executed, Risner turned himself in without incident, according to the release. 

Anyone with information on the cause should contact Rome PD Investigator Chris Ridling at 706-238-5111 or 706-238-5118.