Update from Towns County Sheriff’s Office – Tuesday morning, July 16, 2013
Suspect Rebecca Ann Stokes (32), Hiawassee, has been charged with : Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Removal of a body from a Death Scene, Tampering with Evidence, Terroristic Threats
Suspect Brittany Elizabeth Ledford (21), Hiawassee, has been charged with: Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Removal of a body from Death Scene, and Tampering with Evidence
The suspects remain in Towns County Detention Center.
Previous updates are posted below.
Update from Towns County Sheriff’s Office – 5:30 pm Friday, July 12, 2013
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has relayed to Towns County Sheriff’s Office that a positive identification has been made on the body found in a Towns County, GA well. As relayed by the GBI from the state Crime Lab, the body has been identified as that of Diane “Dee Dee” Adams Donaldson, 53, who was reported missing on June 24.
Using dental records and other identification techniques, the state crime lab identified the body on Friday, July 12. Her body was recovered from an abandoned well on Thursday the 11th. After family members reported Mrs. Donaldson missing on June 24, Towns County Sheriff’s Office investigators followed many leads and conducted interviews with persons in Georgia and Florida. Sheriff Chris Clinton contacted the Region 8 office of the GBI on Wednesday afternoon, following the discovery of possible human remains in a well southeast of Hiawassee.
Sheriff Clinton requested a crime scene technician to process evidence at two possible scenes, and several agents were dispatched to assist in interviewing witnesses as well as process crime scenes.
Brittany Elizabeth Ledford, 21, and Rebecca Ann Stokes, 32, both of Hiawassee, are currently housed in the Towns County Detention Center charged with Malice Murder.
The case is still under investigation and additional charges are pending. More information will be made available as it is received.
Update from Towns County Sheriff’s Office – 4:20 pm Friday, July 12, 2013
The body discovered in a well in Hiawassee, GA Thursday, July 11, 2013 has been positively identified as Charlotte Diane “Dee Dee” Adams Donaldson.
Two suspects, Brittney Elizabeth Ledford (21) of Hiawassee, GA and Rebecca Ann Stokes (32) of Hiawassee, GA remain in custody at the Towns County Detention Center, both on Felony Murder charges.
Update from Towns County Coroner’s Office – Friday morning
On July 10 2013, Hon. Tashina Eller of the Towns County Coroner’s Office was notified by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office regarding the location of possible human remains. July 11, 2013, Hon. Tashina Eller appeared at the crime scene and remained there until the remains were recovered at approximately 7 pm. After taking charge of the body and pronouncing death, Hon. Eller arranged to have the body transported to the GBI Crime Lab for positive identification. Once the Medical Examiner with the GBI notifies the Coroner and other involved agencies, the family of the decedent will be notified so final arrangements can begin. Hon. Eller continues to work closely with all agencies involved in this case and plans to assist the family throughout this process. More information will be released regarding the identification of the remains when they become available.
The following press release has been issued by Towns County Sheriff’s Office. – Friday morning
On June 24, 2013, family members reported concern of the whereabouts of Dianne “Dee Dee” Adams Donaldson. Towns County Sheriff’s Deputies took the initial report and followed up with the Criminal Investigations Division, which launched a missing persons investigation.
The missing person was placed on state and national databases and investigators began to follow leads. The investigation included obtaining cell phone records and dissemination of flyers, as well as interviewing multiple witnesses in two states.
On Wednesday, July 10, Sheriff’s investigators simultaneously acted on two separate leads, one involving a possible location of the missing person, and one involving interviewing a possible witness. Deputies discovered what appeared to be human remains in a well in an area east of Hiawassee, and Sheriff’s Investigators were able to obtain a confession from two suspects who were already in custody in the Towns County Detention Center on unrelated charges.
Sheriff Chris Clinton and Chief Deputy Jeff Edge arrived at the scene where deputies had discovered what appeared to be human remains. Once this was confirmed, Sheriff Clinton requested the Crime Scene Technician from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 8 office in Cleveland. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad Parks sent a Crime Scene Technician as well as several agents who assisted in conducting further interviews. Agent Parks also traveled to Towns County to provide assistance.
Sheriff’s Office Investigators, assisted by GBI agents, conducted interviews with possible witnesses late into the night of July 10, and Sheriff’s Office Deputies were assigned to secure two separate crime scenes. GBI Crime Scene Technicians and Sheriff’s Deputies conducted initial inspection of the well and surrounding area and plans were made to begin an excavation adjacent to the well. Because of the proximity of the well to a house and the need to preserve evidence, the task of recovering the body required many hours and much manpower and equipment.
Sheriff Clinton and Investigators were on site during the interviewing of witnesses until approximately midnight on July 10, and then on site at the crime scenes until the remains were recovered at approximately 7 pm on July 11.
Two suspects, who were already in custody on unrelated charges, were charged. Brittany Elizabeth Ledford (21), of Hiawassee, and Rebecca Ann Stokes (32), also of Hiawassee, were charged with Murder. They remain in the Towns County Detention Center.
The body of the deceased has been taken to the GBI Crime Lab for positive identification. More information will be released as soon as it becomes available.
Legal disclaimer: All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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