By Angie Thompson
ASHBURN — Jeffrey Lynn Speck was a long-haul truck driver in 1997 when road workers found the stabbed body of Michaella Swaney dumped off I-75 in Turner County on Feb. 11, 1997. He would have gotten away with the crime, cold case investigators said, had it not been for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
The journey that culminated in Speck’s Turner County grand jury indictment this month for the murder was a difficult one for several reasons. Swaney, who was 32 at the time of her death, was hitchhiking from Florida to her native Ohio.
“Someone who hitchhikes is at high risk for becoming a victim,” said Gary Rothwell, the Agent in Charge at Perry’s GBI office. “It also cuts down on the leads when there are no local connections to the victim. We usually begin by questioning people who are close to the victim.”
GBI Special Agent Ben Collins, also of the Perry office, has worked with Turner County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Steve Mauldin and Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick on the case. They gathered at the Turner County Civic Center Wednesday to announce the arrest. Initially, GBI Special Agents Bobby Young and Stephen Tinsley and then-Turner County Sheriff Donnie Sellers and Chief Deputy Mike Meeks were listed as contacts for people to call with information.
After Swaney’s body was found, evidence at the scene was gathered and an autopsy confirmed that she had been stabbed multiple times. The evidence collected also included seminal fluid taken from her body and stored with other case evidence. Her identity was revealed when fingerprints taken post-mortem matched those on file following a prior arrest.
The mug shot taken at her arrest provided a photograph of her to include in a flyer investigators created and distributed to law enforcement agencies, post offices and other public locations from Georgia to south Florida.
Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick says Wideman case is ongoing and not cold
By Angie Thompson
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The photo courtesy of Facebook.com shows Lawrence competing with the Team USA Track and Field Team, the right shows the aftermath of Monday morning crash that claimed the young track star's life.
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Streaking Braves finding different ways to win
The Braves, finding new ways to create runs, have regained the lead in the NL East with their best two-week stretch of the season.
It’s even more impressive when considering during that period starting pitcher Gavin Floyd had season-ending elbow surgery and power-hitting catcher Evan Gattis was lost indefinitely with a back injury.
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- Streaking Braves finding different ways to win
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An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.
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The end of 'Two And a Half Men:' Twitter reacts
CBS announced Wednesday that the upcoming 12th season for "Two And a Half Men" would be the show's last. Here is a sampling of reaction to the news on Twitter.
- The joy of losing friends on Facebook
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- The end of 'Two And a Half Men:' Twitter reacts