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'He could be anywhere' | Covington native's sister hopes for miracle nearly 2 months after missing brother's car found in Cartersville

Authorities presume 20-year-old Justin Sawyer to be dead, but his family said they are hoping to get closure soon.

COVINGTON, Ga. — A family is still searching for answers after a Covington, Georgia native's car was found in Cartersville days after he was reported missing, as authorities presume him dead.

The case has raised dozens of questions and spans three different states: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. 

Authorities said 20-year-old Justin Sawyer was reported missing from Clarkesville, Tenn. where he had been living on Dec. 17, 2020, according to a Kentucky State Police report. 

“My brother is very loved,” Lauren Sawyer, Justin’s older sister told 11Alive’s LaPorsche Thomas on Thursday. 

Three people were arrested over the border in Kentucky back in January in connection to Sawyer’s disappearance and “believed death," as the Kentucky State Police report put it. 

A joint investigation on behalf of the Kentucky State Police and the Clarksville Police Department led to the arrest of 20-year-old Dawuan Davis, of Clarksville, Tenn., 36-year-old Gene “Doug” Davis, of Oak Grove, Ky., 22-year-old Marquell Devont’e Sims, of Oak Grove, Ky. All three were found and arrested in the state of Kentucky.

“None of them will tell what happened,” Lauren said. 

Dawuan Davis was arrested on Jan. 5 and is facing multiple charges such as Robbery, 1st Degree; Kidnapping (with Serious Physical Injury); and Assault, 1st Degree.

Gene was arrested in the same apartment area two days later. Authorities are charging him with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Sims turned himself in on Jan. 13 to authorities in Kentucky. He is set to face the following charges: complicity to robbery -1st degree; complicity to kidnapping (with serious physical injury); and complicity to assault - 1st degree.

According to Justin’s sister, he was attending school at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but currently had the semester off. He had planned on moving back to Georgia. 

“He enjoyed writing, creating music, photography, drawing, and making creative content,” his sister explained. Lauren said her brother also provided riding services to students around campus. 

“He lived in a college town and a lot of the students did not have vehicles or needed transportation to class and they would reach out to him directly for those services,” she explained.

The family organized a search to attempt to find Justin’s body on Feb. 6 in the Clarksville area after authorities told the family they exhausted all options. 

“My mom and I just want closure so we can move forward,” his sister explained. 

The family previously worked with an organization called Find Me in hopes of locating Justin. However, members of the group came up with multiple options regarding the possibility of his whereabouts. 

"That's why I feel that it's so important to get my brother's story everywhere because he could literally be anywhere," Lauren said. "I have to fight because I know my brother did." 

She said she prays her brother is a miracle. 

"I pray that he comes back to me alive. That someone found him and helped him. I know God makes no mistakes, so I'm trusting in him to bring him home either way." 

11Alive has contacted detectives and is working to obtain more information involving Justin's disappearance.