A man already in state custody has been charged with the murder of two Paulding residents who were found in the trunk of a burning vehicle alongside I-20 in Atlanta in 2002 after being shot to death.

The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday, May 23, the arrest of Andrew John Shadrix, 44, for a 2002 double murder that was later determined to have occurred in Paulding County.

The sheriff's office worked in conjunction with the Atlanta Police Department Homicide Unit Cold Case Squad, the Paulding Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI Gang Task Force on the 16-year-old case.

On Sept. 15, 2002, in the early morning hours, the Atlanta Fire Department and Police Department responded to a vehicle fire on I-20 which was just within the western city limits of Atlanta, a news release stated.

Atlanta authorities then discovered two bodies located in the trunk of the badly burned vehicle. A subsequent autopsy revealed the two men had been shot to death, the release stated.

The victims were later identified as Shad Andrew English, 21, and Dennis Jeffrey Jackson, 19, both of Paulding County.

"Although they diligently worked this case, Atlanta homicide detectives were never able to generate any substantial leads and the case eventually went cold," the release stated.

"For years there was speculation that the murders occurred in Paulding County but no conclusive evidence ever brought the investigation officially to Paulding County.

" As a result of some investigative leads that were developed in other cases, Paulding deputies assigned to the FBI Gang Task Force along with prosecutors from the Paulding Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office began working this case in early 2018.

"After an exhaustive amount of work, deputies and prosecutors were able to secure a confession on May 22, 2019, from the suspect, Andrew John Shadrix. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the murders were drug related in nature."

Detectives determined the murders occurred at 170 Cohran Store Road in Douglasville in unincorporated Paulding County.

"It must be noted that this residence is no longer intact and was destroyed many years ago by the property owner for unrelated reasons," the release stated.

Shadrix, who is currently incarcerated in the Georgia State Prison system on unrelated charges, was in the Paulding County Jail for court proceedings in Paulding County when he confessed to the 2002 double murder, the release stated.

Sheriff Gary Gulledge said, “This is a case where perseverance paid off and a guilty conscience got the best of the suspect.

"We are glad the Jackson and English families will now have closure knowing that their sons’ murderer is in custody.”

Shadrix is being housed in the Paulding County Jail without bond. He has been charged with two counts of Malice Murder with more charges likely in the case, the release stated.

Those with additional information regarding this case or any other cold case murder are asked to call the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-443-3010.