METTER, Ga. (WSAV) — Two Statesboro residents have been arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) on elder/disabled adult abuse charges after an incident at an assisted living facility in Candler County.

On June 30, the Candler County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate an incident involving a resident at Southern Manor at Candler being removed from the property and left outside overnight in inclement weather.

Co-owner Ralph Cowart, 37, and 36-year-old Meghan McCullough, who is the Executive Director of the facility, are charged with:

  • Neglect to a disabled adult, elder person, or resident
  • Exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents
  • Reckless conduct causing harm to or endangering the safety of another
  • Failure to report a case of abuse of disabled adult or elder

Cowart and McCullough have been booked at the Candler County Jail.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Candler County Sheriff’s Office at 912-685-2568 or the GBI regional investigative office in Statesboro at 912-871-1121.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.