COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The warrant for the suspect charged in the deaths of three people found on the 10th hole of Pinetree Country Club’s golf course on Saturday afternoon reveals new allegations about what investigators say he did before committing the murders.
The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force in Chamblee arrested 23-year-old Atlanta resident Bryan Anthony Rhoden around 5:30 p.m. after he was asked to come to the police station on other charges and was taken into custody.
Friday, officials released Rhoden's criminal warrant that charged him with three counts of felony murder, three counts of felony aggravated assault with the intent to murder, and two counts of felony kidnapping.
Saturday, Golf pro Gene Siller was found shot to death on the green and two others, 46-year-old Henry Valdez of California and 76-year-old Paul Pierson of Kansas, were found dead in the bed of a white Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck teetering on the bank of a sand trap, Cobb County police said.
According to the warrant, officials say that Rhoden abducted both Pierson, who owned the truck, and Valdez, binding their hands, legs, and mouths with tape and forcing them into the enclosed beds of the vehicle.
Police believe Siller was not targeted by Rhoden but witnessed the crime, leading to his death.
"We definitely feel confident there was no relationship between the shooter and Mr. Siller," Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said, noting that investigators are still exploring what link Rhoden had to the other two victims.
After the shooting, investigators believe Rhoden abandoned the truck and fled on foot.
Few other details have since been released about the case or what led investigators to Rhoden and the chief said that is not likely to change soon.
"As this remains an active case and investigation, we will be limited on the amount of information or details we can release," Chief Cox said. "But with the suspect in custody, our investigation will continue to work the case to its completion and move it forward to the Cobb County District Attorney's Office for prosecution."
The police department earlier said the country club and the surrounding community were not in any immediate danger, but some residents said they were on edge with some keeping the doors to their businesses closed until police released more information or made an arrest.
A memorial for golf pro Gene Siller has been set up on the tenth hole of the Pinetree Country Club’s golf course on July 5, 2021. (FOX 5 / GoFundMe)
"I realize some members of the community felt some frustration, they felt like they had limited information and I can respect that feeling. From the perspective that I'm at, I knew we had a mission to come to a successful conclusion to this and provide a form of justice to the Siller family. And the successful arrest and prosecution was our highest priority and that's what we were focusing on," the chief said.
What Chief Cox could confirm was Rhoden's name came up within a few days after the three bodies were discovered at the golf course, but would not elaborate on how.
According to online DeKalb County jail records, Rhoden was arrested by the Chamblee Police Department for DUI, providing false ID, and other vehicle and traffic charges just hours after the discovery on the 10th hole green. He was booked into the jail early Sunday morning just before 2 a.m. and was released two days later on bond, jail records show.
"At this point, I don't want to discuss what all we knew at that point, because like I said, the investigation is still continuing, and we're actually involved at this moment with discussions," the chief said.
A witness shared this photo of a white pickup truck on the tenth hole at Pinetree Country Club’s golf course in Kennesaw, Georgia on July 3, 2021.
Police also did not want to discuss if Rhoden had any prior criminal charges.
"I think that is something we're not going to discuss this evening, but maybe it will come up in the future," the chief said.
Rhoden has been booked into the Cobb County jail without bond.
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