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Hero Down: RCSO Investigator John Cole Haynie Dies From Flu Complications

Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Investigator John Cole Haynie served his department for eight years.

Rockdale County, GA – Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Investigator John Cole Haynie died on Saturday due to complications from a monthlong battle with the flu.

The 26-year-old deputy went to the doctor after falling ill in December and initially tested negative for the flu virus, WXIA reported.

He was sent home with antibiotics, but his condition worsened dramatically just a few days later, his wife, Lyn, explained on the family’s fundraising page.

“[He was] pale as a ghost and says ‘I can’t breathe,’” Lyn recalled.

Inv. Haynie was in critical condition and suffering complications with his heart, lungs, and kidneys when he was rushed to Emory Hospital, WXIA reported.

He was diagnosed with flu Strain B, according to the news outlet.

Doctors told Lyn that her husband had a 40-50 percent chance of surviving, and that a full recovery would take months, she said.

Inv. Haynie also successfully battled cancer as a teen, WXIA reported.

On Friday, Inv. Haynie underwent surgery for “esophageal stent placement and lower extremity removal of dead skin,” but doctors struggled to keep him oxygenated afterwards, Lyn explained in a Facebook post.

“He is septic again…and on maximum support on the ventilator,” she wrote. “The physicians have told us he has hours to days left. Thank you for your prayers and love. Please continue to lift Cole and our family up in your prayers.”

Inv. Haynie passed away at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday.

“We have lost a brother, a friend, a husband, and a servant of our community,” Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said in a press release. “And with that, we mourn…the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office sends our deepest thoughts and prayers.”

Inv. Haynie was hired by the RCSO as a detention deputy on Jan. 3, 2012, his department said in the release.

On March 21, 2014, he graduated from the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council mandate academy, and was promoted as a certified sheriff’s deputy.

Inv. Haynie worked as a patrol deputy and as a special investigations gang investigator until 2019, when he began serving as a fugitive investigator with the department’s Judicial Services Division.

Inv. Haynie will be laid to rest on Jan. 31, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Investigator John Cole Haynie, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Holly Matkin - January Tue, 2020

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