The body of Walter T. Heath, 79, was found about 10:50 a.m. in a closet near the dining area of the Tara at Thunderbolt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said Thunderbolt Police Chief Irene Pennington.
Family members confirmed Heath's identity.
Thunderbolt requested that Savannah-Chatham police specialists in violent crimes and forensics assist in the investigation.
Heath's body was taken to the coroner's office. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will conduct an autopsy, Pennington said.
Heath had been missing since 5 p.m. April 16. He admitted himself into the Thunderbolt facility in February and had the right to leave any time he wished.
However, after he disappeared, the facility's staff and Heath's family members grew concerned about him.
Heath was born in Swainsboro on April 28, 1928, said Mae Lois Reed, his niece.
Heath had been developing memory illness, an initial police report showed.
Heath's wheechair was left near the dining area the day he disappeared, not far from the utility closet where his body was found Wednesday morning.
Investigators were first told by Kay Bell, an admissions clerk at the nursing home, that, "Heath likes to drink, and that it would be good to search the local areas which serve alcoholic beverages."
Administrators refused to comment Wednesday afternoon, saying that a statement would be issued later.
Members of Heath's family said they also are waiting for police to conclude their investigation.