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Atlanta college student Alexis Crawford was strangled to death during an argument with her roommate, then dumped in a plastic bin at a suburban park, authorities say.
The 21-year-old had gotten into a fight with her roommate Jordyn Jones in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, during which Jones' boyfriend, Barron Brantley, allegedly intervened and choked Crawford to death, according to Fulton County Superior Court documents obtained by USA Today.
The couple then placed her remains in a plastic bin and took the body to Exchange Park in Decatur, Georgia where they dumped the bin and went home, authorities say.
“This could have been our daughter, our sister,” the Rev. Markel Hutchins, who has served as a spokesman for Crawford's family, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday night. “This could have been anybody. This was not a young lady that was doing something wrong. She was doing everything right.”
Jones and Brantley are now each facing charges of malice murder in the death that has sent shockwaves through the country.
Crawford was killed just days after she had reported to the Atlanta Police Department that Brantley had sexually assaulted her while the trio were drinking together in the apartment Jones and Crawford shared.
Crawford told police that while they were hanging out, Brantley started to rub his hand on her shoulder and kiss her neck, according to an incident report obtained by Oxygen.com. When Crawford asked what he was doing, he told her that he thought she was Jones.
Crawford told police she got up to walk out of the room but said Brantley followed her. She remembered going into the bathroom by herself and closing the door, but then she blacked out. Jones told police that she realized Crawford and Brantley were together in the locked bathroom and began knocking on the door. When Brantley answered, he had his shirt off but claimed he had not had sex with Crawford, the report states.
Crawford said she'd blacked out and couldn’t recall what had happened. She later went to Grady Memorial Hospital for a rape kit.
After the incident, Jones told police she and Crawford were not on speaking terms, according to a missing persons report obtained by Oxygen.com. But on the night of Oct. 30—the last day Crawford was seen alive—she said Crawford had asked her to take her to the liquor store.
Jones told authorities that after the pair returned home, she went into her room and that when she woke up in the morning Crawford was gone.
However, authorities soon began to question that story and now believe that the pair got into an altercation after returning to the apartment.
“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” the police report obtained by paper said.
Jones is also accused of smothering Crawford with a black plastic trash bag, according to her arrest warrant.
Brantley allegedly admitted later to killing Crawford, court documents said. Her body was found Friday in the park.
The arrests shocked the Crawford family, who had once hosted Jones in their home to celebrate family holidays and considered her a close friend of Alexis.
“As the horrifying additional details about the facts and circumstances surrounding her heart-wrenching death are revealed to the public, I ask people to remember Alexis’ family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Hutchins said in a release sent to Oxygen.com.
The family plans to celebrate Crawford’s life on Saturday in a funeral held at Cornerstone Church Athens
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