Vienna Police give details about missing child investigation

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

Vienna Police Chief Ketorie Sales updates the public on the missing child

By Neil B. McGahee

Managing Editor

At a mid-morning update, Vienna Police Chief Ketorie Sales gave a much clearer picture look into the investigation of 4-year-old Jaceion Mathis who is still missing.

“On Thursday, January 20, the Vienna Police Dept. was contacted by a Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS) worker who told

us that several attempts had been made to contact Keara Cotton, the child’s mother,” Sales said. “She said that Cotton wouldn’t answer the door and had not fulfilled promises to bring the children to DFACS to see them.”

Sales said VPD officers periodically checked the house all night with negative results.

“On Friday, January 21, Cotton asked her mother to pick up her 8-year-old daughter from school and said she would bring Jaceion later,” Sales said. “Again Cotton failed to keep her promises so the Cordele District Attorney’s Office was notified.

In the course of interviewing, concerns arose that Cotton had been abusing both of her children. At that point, the Dooly County and Crisp County Sheriffs Offices and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation( GBI) joined the investigation along with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

“The investigation continued over the weekend,” Sales said. “She was located Monday afternoon in Crisp County and was transported to the Dooly County Justice Center. She was interviewed and in the course of the interview, she revealed the location of human remains inside the Cordele city limits. The remains were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Atlanta for an autopsy and we are still waiting for the results to determine if the human remains are baby Jaceion’s”


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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.