Security footage at a home under construction in Brunswick, Georgia has been a big part of the investigation into Ahmaud Arbery‘s killing.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a man who appears to be Arbery was caught on surveillance footage roaming the property in the same neighborhood he was killed in. The man ignited the motion-sensor videos at the under construction home, which sent an alert to property owner Larry English‘s phone. According to the video footage and the police reports involving five dates, the man in the footage was stopping by the property since last fall.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is still trying to determine if the man in the video is Arbery. However, his family’s legal team says one video showing a man entering the property on the day of the February 23 killing appears to be Arbery.
“This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us. Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog,” the legal team said in a statement. “He stopped by a property under construction where he engaged in no illegal activity and remained for only a brief period. Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property.” Many of the videos are short clips showing a person roaming inside the construction site, on the outside of the structure or in a dock area behind the property.
Now, the legal council for English, the property owner, is suspecting that Arbery might have simply been stopping for water. Elizabeth Graddy released a statement on Friday morning saying the family reviewed the videos more closely. Her statement explained that there were two water faucets on the property — one on the side of the house and one at the rear.
“Although these water sources do not appear within any of the cameras’ frames, the young man moves to and from their locations,” Graddy said.
English told the AJC that it was “kind of unsettling” that someone was entering his property in the middle of the night, however, he confirmed with police that nothing was ever taken.
A December 17 clip shows the young guy wearing shorts and an athletic shirt as he exits the garage area, walks slowly for a second or two, then makes his way down the driveway across a patch of yard. Then, he enters Satilla Drive at a jogger’s pace.
Arbery’s family said that the 25-year-old enjoyed jogging in the area and was doing just that when he was shot and killed. The GBI arrested and charged Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, with aggravated assault and felony murder.
Travis dialed 911 on the man believed to be Arbery before on February 11. According to audio from his call, Travis was driving his red pickup truck past the home construction site when he saw someone that he deemed suspicious. The surveillance cameras tripped again a little after 7 p.m. that night as well.
“I was leaving the neighborhood and I just caught a guy running into a house being built,” McMichael said to the emergency dispatcher. “When I turned around, he took off running into the house.” Several cops and neighbors eventually searched the premise but didn’t find anyone. The security footage from that nights shows a person, who appears to be the same guy who’d been coming on to the property for months, slowly walking through the house.
Twelve days later, a man believed to be Arbery entered the construction site at about 1 p.m. He entered the garage briefly and then appeared to walk to the back of the property, according to camera footage from a neighbor’s house. Somebody in the neighborhood called 911 about the man entering the property and during the call, the neighbor told police that the man went running down Satilla Drive.
English’s phone received another text alert, however, he was busy at his job as a beekeeper, which was nearly two hours away. By the time he saw the footage 20 minutes later, it showed a man on his property that seemed to be the same guy who had been there in previous months.
Not too long afterwards, the report came that Arbery had been shot and killed. English maintains that he had no part in the shooting and he didn’t know the McMichaels. He said that he feels deeply distressed for Arbery’s family. He now doubts that he’ll ever move to Brunswick, even once the construction on the home on Satilla Drive is done, because of the attention and even threats he’s been receiving since the shooting.
“Due to the property’s notoriety, unauthorized persons are regularly entering the property,” English’s attorney, Graddy, explained in a statement. “For everyone’s safety, Mr. English asks that the public observe the posted ‘no trespassing’ signs.”