Well-known and well-liked Glynn County County Commissioner Tom Sublett was found dead at a marina on St. Simons Island early Tuesday morning and police say it appears he was the victim of a homicide.
Channel 4 was told that Sublett was found in the water about 6 a.m. His body was just over 100 yards from where his car was parked, according to Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering.
Doering would not talk about how Sublett was killed. Police said Sublett's wallet was found, but some items were missing.
"I can't tell you any more than we're treating it as a homicide," Doering said. "We're searching for some physical evidence. That's all I can say."
According to police, Sublett was playing poker with friends on the mainland on Monday night, and they're trying to establish a timeline of how he got to the marina.
"It was another Monday night poker game. We cut up, told jokes," said friend and co-worker Bill Parker. "First I heard of anything possibly being wrong was when I received a call from Tom's wife asking if, by chance, we were still playing poker at 2:30 in the morning. I had to inform her that he left my house approximately 10:20."
His body was found between a boat and the dock at a marina just off the causeway before dawn Tuesday morning.
Other county commissioners and their staff were present as Doering released the details of Sublett's death. Some were holding hands and crying.
"This community will do whatever it takes to bring this kind of crime to closure, not only to the community, but for his family," said Commission Chairman Richard Strickland.
All commission meetings for the next few days have been cancelled and flags around the area were lowered to half staff.
Sublett, 52, of St. Simons Island, is survived by a wife and four children, his youngest a senior in high school. He also had two grandchildren.
Sublett worked in commercial real estate and insurance sales. He was elected to the County Commission in 2008. He did not seek reelection and his term was to end Dec. 31.
According to the county's website, Sublett was past chairman of the Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce and had served on the boards of the United Way, Rotary Club and several other community organizations. He was senior warden of St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
"I do hope the authorities find out, and I hope whoever it is is suitably punished," Parker said.
An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday in Savannah, but it was unclear if police would release the cause of death or keep that fact as part of the investigation.
Reverend Alan Akridge said a CaringBridge page has been created on behalf of the Sublett family to keep the community updated with important information and arrangements.