Grisly mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion turns up hand

GBI, GDNR join in on search

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Tyler Smith

The Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion and the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources have teamed up with the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mur­der and dis­mem­ber­ment of an uniden­ti­fied wo­man.

“Right now we are re­group­ing back at the of­fice and are de­cid­ing on a game plan,” said NCSO Lt. Bill Wat­ter­son.

A wo­man’s sev­ered arms, legs, feet and a sin­gle hand of were dis­cov­ered in a wooded res­i­den­tial area off of Ga. High­way 212 early Tues­day morn­ing.

Since the ini­tial call, in­ves­ti­ga­tors have only been able to lo­cate the wo­man’s other hand, Wat­ter­son said.

From the body parts found thus far, in­ves­ti­ga­tors have been able to de­ter­mine the vic­tim was pe­tite in size and ei­ther His­panic or white. Wat­ter­son said the vic­tim’s fin­ger­prints have been pro­cessed, but no matches were found in the sys­tem.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors searched the area Wed­nes­day us­ing a grid pat­tern, but were un­able to lo­cate any fur­ther ev­i­dence. Dive teams were de­ployed Tues­day af­ter­noon, but a search of the nearby lake re­vealed lit­tle.

The NCSO was first alerted to the sit­u­a­tion at ap­prox­i­mately 3: 30 a. m. Tues­day morn­ing when a wo­man re­turn­ing from work found her dogs fight­ing over what ap­peared to be a hu­man foot. At first, the wo­man re­port­edly thought the foot was fake and pos­si­bly just part of Hal­loween prank. Once deputies ar­rived, a crime scene was es­tab­lished, but in­ves­ti­ga­tors could not be­gin a full search un­til day­light.

Wat­ter­son said the re­mains were found be­tween the back of an un­oc­cu­pied house and a small lake. Due to the lack of blood, in­ves­ti­ga­tors sus­pect the vic­tim was ac­tu­ally mur­dered else­where. The body parts were de­scribed as “ cleanly sev­ered” and not badly de­com­posed.

“ But so far, we just have the­o­ries,” Wat­ter­son said. “ Un­til we ID the vic­tim, that’s all we’ll have.”

Due to the per­sonal and heinous na­ture of dis­mem­ber­ment, in­ves­ti­ga­tors are in­clined to be­lieve the vic­tim knew her mur­derer. Due to the se­cluded na­ture of the area, Wat­ter­son also said the killer was prob­a­bly some­what familiar with the neigh­bor­hood, which is heav­ily wooded and can­not be seen from the high­way.

While there are no miss­ing per­sons re­ports in New­ton or Henry coun­ties match­ing the vic­tim, in­ves­ti­ga­tors are check­ing re­strain­ing or­ders and other do­mes­tic cases, Wat­ter­son said. Be­cause

The body parts re­cov­ered so far do not sug­gests a cause of death or if the vic­tim was alive dur­ing the dis­mem­ber­ment.

Wat­ter­son said in­ves­ti­ga­tors would con­tinue their en­quiry at the crime scene un­til they were com­pletely sat­is­fied all av­enues have been ex­plored.

If you have in­for­ma­tion about this crime, please call the New­ton County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice at ( 678) 6251403. Tips may also be given anony­mously at ( 678) 625- 5007 or on their Web site www. new­ton­sh­er­if­fga. org.

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