Geno Collins/CBS Atlanta- Ayers was found inside a truck that had crashed along Highway 316 in Gwinnett County.
ATHENS, GA (CBS46) -
The case of a missing University of Georgia student came to a tragic end Monday evening as Gwinnett County police confirmed that his body was found in wreckage that likely went unnoticed for days.
Quinton Ayers, 22, was reported missing over the weekend to the Oconee County Sheriff's Office. Friends last had contact with him just before 1 a.m. Friday. Authorities said he may have left Athens in route to his hometown of Adairsville, but he never arrived there.
His last known cell phone activity was traced to a location in Gwinnett County near the airport.
On Monday afternoon, a truck driver spotted what appeared to be a wrecked vehicle in some woods along Hwy. 316 near Harbins Road.
According to Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith, the truck driver's cab, "sat up pretty high off the ground, and he was able to see down the slope and into the woods."
Police later confirmed that the body inside the wrecked truck was that of Ayers.
Before the wreckage was discovered, Ayers' close friend Marissa Beall told CBS Atlanta News that she may have been one of the last people to have contact with Ayers.
"I was texting him that entire night until 1 a.m., and it just stopped," said Beall.
Gwinnett County accident investigators will continue to look into the cause of the crash, including whether Ayers might have lost control of his vehicle while sending or receiving text messages.
"They're going to need to look at all angles of the vehicle, look at all the marks on the ground to see where it tumbled and to see if there is a possibility that another vehicle may have struck it," said Smith.