The Georgia Bureau of Investigation have arrested a second man on an on charges stemming from the investigation into the death of two women.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning the deaths of the two Floyd County women — 19-year-old Vanita Nicole Richardson and her 31-year-old sister, Truvenia Clarece Campbell.
The bodies of the two women were found with bags over their heads after being dumped off the bypass bridge near the Etowah River early May 13. Rome police quickly turned over the case to the GBI, who have only released a few details concerning the deaths.
On Tuesday, the GBI arrested Devin Lashawn Watts, 36, on a theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is accused of putting a .380 caliber Glock pistol reported stolen from Pickens County in a closet of an apartment at 131 Dodd Blvd. Apartment J-10 on Monday. Watts is being held without bond.
However, on Monday afternoon, agents along with local law enforcement were in force at the Callier Forest Apartments on Dodd Boulevard. In that action they arrested 28-year-old Desmond Lavonte Brown on a misdemeanor obstruction charge. He was released on bond after his arrest.
The Rome Police Department was requested by the GBI to pull over a vehicle in the location to execute a search warrant around 2 p.m. Monday, according to 911 traffic.
Brown is charged with entering a vehicle after being told not to do so by police and then resisting officers before being restrained.
GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said the agency is not ready to report any updates on the homicide investigation but described the case as “very active.”
The investigation and timeline
Last week the GBI put out a call for anyone who had information about the two women whose bodies were found on the outskirts of Rome. They also asked for any information concerning a 1997 gold Toyota Corolla with the license plate RTJ6295.
The GBI said the two women were in the car, which belonged to Richardson, sometime on the evening of May 12 — less than 24 hours before their bodies were found under a bridge over the Etowah River on the East Rome bypass.
According to an RPD initial incident report obtained through an open-records request, Richardson and Campbell were found on the ground in a grassy area just below the bridge with bags tied over their heads.
The bodies were discovered at around 11 a.m. Wednesday by three GDOT employees who had arrived on the scene to inspect the bridge as part of routine maintenance. They then called 911.
The incident report has the listing of the possible weapon used in the incident redacted, and beside “Review for Gang Activity” it has “None.”
A GBI medical examiner completed autopsies on the two women Thursday and ruled their deaths homicides. The exact causes of death have not been released.
The crime has captured the interest of the community and Rome Mayor Bill Collins expressed his condolences to the families of the two victims during Monday evening’s city commission meeting.
“I can tell you it has been on the minds of all of the commissioners,” Collins said. “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. This was a tough pill to swallow with it coming close to home for us. We have the confidence of all of our public safety people that this situation will come to a head pretty soon.”
Anyone with information can contact the GBI tip line at 1-800-597-8477 (TIPS).