Coroner says burned body was Augusta woman

Shalamar Nicole Byrd, 38, was identified Saturday as the dead woman found Aug. 11 in Aiken County.

An Augusta woman was identified today as the homicide victim whose burned body was found Aug. 11 on Old Storm Branch Road in Aiken County.


Shalamar N. Byrd's brother recognized her from a sketch released this week by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and contacted authorities, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said in an e-mail this evening.

Investigators confirmed his suspicions by comparing a partial print from the body to other fingerprints belonging to Byrd, Carlton said.

That test was further backed up by a DNA test between Byrd's genetic material and her mother's. The results were released Saturday by state investigators, Carlton said.

"This investigation into identifying Ms. Byrd was a joint effort with many agencies and although we are saddened for the family, we are pleased that all agencies worked together," Carlton said.

Byrd was the second victim found burned the night of Aug. 11. Before Byrd was discovered by firefighters extinguishing a brush fire, Aiken Public Safety firefighters found Yana Schenker, 75, dead in her home on the 100 block of Paddock Bend.

Carlton previously determined both women died of asphyxiation before their bodies were burned.

No arrests have been made in either death.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Byrd was convicted of theft in Richmond County in 2005 and robbery in Burke County in 2004. The state's Web site says she was incarcerated from 2006 to 2008.