BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference this Monday addressing the July 17 homicide that resulted in the death of 22-year-old Dolan Blanchard.
According to officials, this was not a random act of violence — they have discovered that the suspect and the victim knew each other through online Xbox gaming.
“They were part of what they call a gaming community,” says Captain Todd Hutchens with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office. “They played Xbox games. Basically, those folks play with people all over the nation…all over the world. And it just so happens that our offender here…the victim was just across the next county over, but they knew each other through that method.”
The sheriff’s office says this is the only known connection between the victim and the suspect—19-year-old John Morris of Statesboro is now facing murder charges.
There is currently no word on the motive behind the killing. The only information the sheriff’s office has is that the two were in online communication.
“That’s not yet been established,” says Hutchens. “They were acquainted just again through the gaming community and consistently talked to each other. How they got together that particular night is something we’re still working towards.”
Dolan Blanchard, a resident of Sylvania was murdered on Maria Sorrell Road in neighboring Bulloch County. Authorities say he was shot to death. Less than a mile from the scene investigators found a car on fire which they now can confirm is related to the case.
“The vehicle actually belonged to the victim’s mother and so the vehicle was driven by the victim and later burned by the offender,” said Hutchens.
At this time the sheriff’s office is still investigating the online relationship between Blanchard and the suspect— along with any other potential connections besides online gaming.
If you have information that could help investigators, you’re asked to call the Bulloch county sheriff’s office at 912-764-8888.