Savannah Police investigating death of missing man

ByMariah Congedo|April 29, 2021 at 11:47 PM EDT - Updated May 3 at 6:54 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Savannah man’s death is being investigating as a homicide. His family worries he was caught up with the wrong people.

Charles Vinson, 23, was reportedly last seen on April 26 and days later family members found him dead.

It all started around 2 a.m. on April 26 during a police traffic stop near the intersection of Gwinnett Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Savannah.

Police reports say he was pulled over for driving without headlights on. The report says Vinson told police he did not have a valid driver’s license and was cited for it. Vinson also did not have car insurance, so his car was later towed.

That is when the police report says Vinson walked away, going south along MLK with a woman whose identity police did not know.

The following day, police were contacted by multiple friends and family who reported Vinson missing.

His mother, Rolanda Grant, says it was not like him to not answer their calls and that’s when she knew something wasn’t right.

“We’re going to miss him. Definitely going to miss him. I loved him. That was my baby,” Grant said.

Vinson’s family says red flags kept popping up when they couldn’t get a hold of him by phone.

“It wasn’t like him not to hear from him within a 24-hour period,” Vinson’s father Charles Grant said.

Some of those missed calls were from his 4-year-old daughter. Vinson’s mother and father say they used a locating service and found his phone in the Laurel Grove Cemetery.

“No calls, no messages. It was damaged,” his father said.

“It was really damaged,” his mother said. “Yes, it was smashed.”

As the days went on and search parties took to the streets, family and friends went up and down the areas near the cemetery trying to find him.

“We had organized a search party Sunday morning at 10:00, but before that my daughter went out and started looking for him, my two daughters, and they found him,” his father said.

Later that day, police did confirm that Vinson’s body was found in the Ogeecheeton neighborhood on Julia Law Street. Police say they are treating this case as a homicide investigation.

Vinson’s mother says she thinks this happened because he got caught up with the wrong people.

“Why? He was so giving. If they asked, he would’ve given it. He would have given it to them. You know what I’m saying? But, I don’t know,” she said.

Vinson’s parents say they feel he would have been safer had police arrested him that night.

“I felt that if he had a car… he would’ve [gone] home,” they said. “Even if they arrested him, it would’ve been better.”

“He’d have another chance.”

Family says Vinson was an entertainer, had goals and was well-liked.

“Everyone loved him. He was very intelligent,” his mother said.

Vinson’s family said they are confident the people involved will be caught and held accountable.

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Photo: WTOC

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