Grisly search continues
NCSO hunts for remains of woman

COVINGTON - A group of about 50 law enforcement officials with the Newton County Sheriff's Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Department of Natural Resources combed a wooded area off Ga. Highway 212 for a second day on Wednesday searching for a woman's dismembered remains.

According to Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the NCSO, no more of the severed remains, which are believed to be those of a recently deceased white or Hispanic woman, have been found since noon on Tuesday. About 50 percent of the body has thus far been recovered.

Investigators have conducted a grid search of the area, which includes marking off the search field into individual sectors, thereby providing for a more thorough examination of the area in question.

"It's speculation why this person did the things they did," Watterson said of the person responsible for dismembering the woman. "There have been many theories discussed about the way the evidence is ... and it's one of the things we're working on right now."

An area resident was the first to discover the remains after she returned home during the early morning hours Tuesday to find her dogs fighting over what appeared to be a human foot.

Given the closeness to Halloween, she initially thought that the foot may have been fake, but upon arriving at the scene, authorities confirmed that it was real.

The remains recovered thus far, which have been described as cleanly severed, have all been found within about a 50-yard radius of one another. Authorities have cordoned off a 5-acre tract of land in search of further remains. Cadaver dogs have been brought in to assist in the search.

A dive team searched two small lakes nearby late Tuesday afternoon, but nothing was found. Watterson said that investigators had already searched specific areas in the lakes, but no further dives are expected. As of press time Wednesday, DNR workers were dragging the lake in an attempt to find further remains.

Due to the intense brutality involved in such a crime, investigators believe that the victim possibly knew her attacker. Authorities also said that the assailant was probably familiar with the area in which the severed remains were found, given the relative seclusion.

The NCSO asked that anyone with information pertaining to the case call 678-625-1403. Tips may be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through the Web at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.