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Grand jury indicts man in slaying

COVINGTON - A man who allegedly killed his girlfriend and then dumped parts of her dismembered body in a wooded area off Ga. Highway 212 in late October was indicted by a Newton County grand jury on Friday.

According to Newton County District Attorney Ken Wynne, the suspect, Franklin Elliot Benson, 47, of Atlanta, was indicted on charges of murder, removal of body parts from the scene of death and concealing the death of another.

Benson is being held at the Newton County Detention Center without bond.

Thus far, authorities have recovered all of Williams' body with the exception of her head and torso. Authorities haven't indicated where they believe the suspect allegedly killed the victim, nor where he allegedly dismembered her body.

Williams' family members from Michigan told authorities that they last heard from her Oct. 28, two days before a resident found her dogs fighting over the victim's foot during the early morning hours.

Investigators were able to connect Benson to the area where parts of Williams' body were found after discovering that he held a quitclaim deed on the property.

At a bond hearing held in December, Assistant District Attorney Layla Zon told the court that Benson was the last person to have contact with the victim. She also stated at that time that the death penalty was still a "viable option" in the case.

When asked Monday whether a decision had been reached concerning the death penalty being sought against Benson, Wynne declined to comment.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.