An Augusta man was arrested on murder charges Saturday in the deaths of a south Augusta man, his wife and his stepdaughter, who authorities say was five months pregnant and whose body was found burned beyond recognition.
Adrian Tywan "Goose" Hargrove, 30, of the 3500 block of Edgeworth Drive, was charged with three counts of murder after the bodies of Andrew Hartley, 45, and his wife, Sharon Hartley, 46, were found at their Bennock Mill Road home and Allyson Pederson, 18, was discovered off Lock and Dam Road near New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam Park and Augusta Regional Airport.
Mr. Hargrove's estranged wife informed Richmond County authorities that he arrived at their home with blood-soaked clothing about 11:30 a.m., Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said.
After interviewing the wife, deputies were advised to check a home in the 700 block of Bennock Mill Road, Sheriff Strength said.
Once there, deputies discovered the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Hartley.
Mr. Hargrove is accused of entering the home unannounced and stabbing the two early Saturday, said county Coroner Grover Tuten.
"The man and the woman were found lying face down in the front bedroom," Mr. Tuten said. "They had been dead for about an hour, and both had multiple stab wounds."
Mr. Hartley, who suffered major stab wounds, likely struggled with his attacker before he was killed, Mr. Tuten said.
After receiving a call about a fire near New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam Park, authorities discovered Ms. Pederson's burned body, Mr. Tuten said.
After spending most of Saturday afternoon searching for Mr. Hargrove, deputies found him in the woods near Richmond Hill and Bungalow roads, Sheriff Strength said.
The killings are still under investigation, but there could be more arrests to come, the sheriff said. He said a motive was undetermined Saturday.
Friends had been waiting around the Hartleys' home since about 11 a.m., family friend Linda Hobbs said.
Mrs. Hobbs' daughter had been friends with Ms. Pederson since they were students at Cross Creek High School. The Hartleys had lived on Mrs. Hobbs' street for about four years.
"She was nice and everything. She'd do anything for you," Mrs. Hobbs said of Ms. Pederson. "I never thought anything like this would happen in this neighborhood."
Mr. Hartley worked in construction and Mrs. Hartley did not work, Mrs. Hobbs said.
Ms. Pederson had been dating Mr. Hargrove, Mrs. Hobbs said. Police said they have not yet confirmed their relation.
Ms. Pederson was looking forward to her baby's birth and was about to learn the gender, Mrs. Hobbs said.
She said she and her family had a lot of questions Saturday evening.
"I just would like to know what made him snap like that," she said.
Simon Goudeau said he was in shock about the events in his neighborhood. He said he had just seen Mr. Hargrove speaking with his neighbor Saturday morning.
"It's always something on this road, from shootings to break-ins," Mr. Goudeau said. "This is something else, though. It's unbelievable. It's tragic."
Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.