//VPD makes arrest in Valdosta homicide death investigation

VPD makes arrest in Valdosta homicide death investigation

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VALDOSTA – The Valdosta Police Department has arrested a 59-year-old male in connection to the homicide of a Valdosta man.


Arrested: John Paul Battle, African American male 59 years of age, Valdosta resident
Victim: Collies Mathis, African American male, 49 years of age, Valdosta resident

On February 29, 2024, a few minutes after midnight, Valdosta Police Officers, Valdosta Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services responded to a residence in the 2000 block of LaSalle Drive, after a citizen called E911 to report that her boyfriend was unresponsive. Officers immediately attempted life-saving measures, and while doing so, they observed possible stab wounds to his torso. Emergency Medical Services arrived at the residence and attempted life-saving measures, but the victim, Collie Mathis, 49 years of age, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Valdosta Police Department Detectives and Crime Scene Personnel responded to conduct an investigation.  

Through investigation, detectives determined that Mathis had been in an altercation with John Paul Battle, 59 years of age, at another location. During the altercation, Battle produced a knife and assaulted Mathis. Mathis was taken back to his residence, where he collapsed and succumbed to his injuries.
Officers and detectives searched for Battle, locating him hiding in a utility shed in the 1800 block of Northside Drive. Battle was taken into custody without any incident. Evidence was collected from Battle connecting him to the incident.

Battle was transported to Lowndes County Jail and he has been charged with:

  • Felony murder-felony;
  • Aggravated assault-felony; and
  • Possession of a knife during the commission of a crime-felony.

Battle and Mathis were known to each other, and this was an isolated incident.

“Our prayers and condolences go out to Mr. Mathis’ family. I am proud of the work of our team to continue to search for this offender to get him into custody quickly and safely.” Said Chief Leslie Manahan.

If you have any information on this case or any other case, please contact the Valdosta Police Department Bureau of Investigative Services at 229-293-3145, the crime tip line at 229-293-3091, or file a tip online at www.valdostacity.com/police-department.