Two men have been arrested in connection to the apparent killing of two Georgia sisters, who were discovered dead under a bridge with plastic bags over their heads.
Vanita Nicole Richardson, 19, and her 31-year-old sister, Truvenia Clarece Campbell, both of Rome, were found dead under a bridge on the outskirts of Rome on May 13, according to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation press release. Autopsies have determined that both have died of homicide but the specific manner of death has not been disclosed.
The siblings were discovered in a grassy area just below the bridge by three Georgia Department of Transportation workers who were inspecting the bridge as part of a maintenance routine, the Rome News-Tribune reports. Bags had been tied around their heads. Investigators do not believe the killing was gang related.
During law enforcement’s investigation to find the siblings’ killer or killers, they arrested Desmond Lavonte Brown, 28, of Rome and Devin Lashawn Watts, 36, according to the GBI. Brown has been charged with misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer and Brown has been charged with misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer.
"These arrests were the results of search warrants executed on apartments and vehicles based on leads that were developed and tips received from the GBI Tip Line," the GBI noted. "This investigation remains active and ongoing."
It's unclear if the men have lawyers or if they will be charged with anything further. Watts was previously arrested for allegedly trying to choke a woman to death last year, Coosa Valley News reported last year.
The GBI has asked the public for information about Richardson’s car, a 1997 gold Toyota Corolla with the license plate RTJ6295. They believe that Richardson and Campbell were in that car less than 24 hours before their bodies were discovered. Investigators are looking for that car, which may possibly be in the Metro Atlanta area, according to the GBI.
A public information officer for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told Oxygen.com on Wednesday morning that there are no other details to be released to the public at this time.
Rome Mayor Bill Collins addressed the murders during a Monday evening city commission meeting, the Rome News-Tribune reported.
“I’ve heard from just about all of you anxious to know not only what’s happening but to hope that we can bring whoever is responsible for these deaths to justice as soon as we possibly can,” he said.
Richardson was supposed to graduate from Armuchee High School next week. The school has expressed its condolences over social media.
“Vanita will be remembered for being a fun-loving, humble and motivated student who was making strong plans for her future,” Floyd County Schools said in a statement. “Even throughout the school closures, Vanita’s passing is felt by all. In particular, the staff members whose lives she touched with her caring personality and big heart.”
At a Monday vigil for the slain sisters, their mother, Donna Campbell, noted that Richardson often looked out for her older sister, who had epilepsy since birth, 11 Alive reports.
“They were very, very close. Very, very close,” the grieving mother said.
Anyone with information about the missing car is asked to call the authorities. Anyone who had traveled in the area where the bodies were found between May 12 and May 13, and who may have witnessed anything suspicious, is also asked to contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).
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