MCINTOSH COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - A Darien man arrested for the murder of his step son was out of jail, less than 24 hours later.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents charged Brian Gale with cruelty to a child in the first degree and murder.
On March 8 search and rescue teams found 15-year-old Daniel Gale dead in the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area in McIntosh County. Investigators say he died alone from hypothermia and drowning.
McIntosh County Sheriff Steven Jessup says Daniel went hunting with his step-father, they got lost, and Brian Gale left the teen. Gale made it out. Searches found Daniel's body several hours later.
Now, after all this time, GBI agents have charged Gale with murder, arresting him Thursday evening.
Mike McDaniel, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Kingsland office said Dale was charged with cruelty to a child in the first degree, a felony, because he left the teen alone in the cold and dark wooded swamp. McDaniel said because the teen died while he was left alone, they tacked on the felony murder charge.
This morning Gale stood before Atlantic Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert Russell. Judge Russell let Dale go, releasing him on his own recognizance.
The next step, a grand jury will decide if there's enough evidence to send this case trial. There is no information on when a grand jury will hear the case.
WTOC contacted Daniel's mother, Susan Gale. She told us she was not surprised Brian Gale was released from jail.