The bodies of two Aiken County teenagers were discovered in a wooded lot early Thanksgiving morning in downtown Augusta, pushing Richmond County's homicide total up to 37 for the year.
Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen identified the victims as Angela Brooks, 19, of the 300 block of Breezehill Road in Warrenville; and Nancy Cushman, 18, of the 100 block of Jones Circle in Warrenville. However, Richmond County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles said Cushman was 17 and from Beech Island.
Brooks and Cushman were shot and killed Thursday, according to sheriff's office investigators.
Their bodies were found on the corner of Twiggs Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard about 2:30 a.m. by a passerby walking through the wooded area, according to a news release.
Cushman and Brooks were last seen about 12:30 a.m. on East Boundary Street with an unknown black man.
They were shot at least once, but Peebles said police were withholding the location and number of wounds.
Cushman's 1999 Cadillac Escalade was found abandoned at Second and Telfair streets shortly after the bodies were found. The release said police believe based on evidence recovered that the suspect or suspects likely drove the Escalade from the scene of the crime to where it was abandoned.
By Thursday afternoon, police were searching for a person of interest in the case, Travis Lorenzo Berrian, 26. They said he was not a suspect and was wanted only for information.
Berrian has a criminal record that most recently included a February 2008 sentencing to five years in prison and six years probation for aggravated assault, second-degree criminal damage to property and criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark, according to The Augusta Chronicle archives.
An autopsy was scheduled for this morning at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Augusta Lab.
Anyone with information concerning the case is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1080. A reward is being offered, and callers may remain anonymous.