Across Georgia

Woman's body found in home during demolition


ATLANTA --- Atlanta police and fire officials say a woman's body was found in the attic of a house that was being torn down.

Authorities said they don't yet know how the woman died, or whether she was already dead when the demolition work began Saturday afternoon. Capt. J.L. Bundridge with the Atlanta Fire Department said the body was discovered as contractors began removing debris from the demolition site.

The woman's name has not been released.

Police spokeswoman Officer Kim Jones said it's possible the woman was alive before the demolition began but authorities were waiting for the medical examiner to rule in the case.

Witnesses told WSB-TV that they heard a cry for help and then a moan after the backhoe began tearing down the abandoned house near downtown Atlanta. Neighbors told the TV station that homeless people often slept in the house.

Fire department Battalion Chief Todd Edwards told WSB-TV that the contractors said they checked the home before the demolition started.

Man, 59, charged with three counts of murder

IRON CITY, GA. --- Three people are dead after authorities say a man opened fire on a car outside a convenience store in a tiny southeast Georgia town Saturday evening.

Authorities charged 59-year-old Larry Easterwood with three counts of murder after the shooting in Iron City. Authorities identified the victims as Christy Scott, her husband, Rodney Scott, and friend Stacy Dismuke.

Seminole County Sheriff Heath Elliott said the Scotts' young daughter was in the car but was not injured. The sheriff said Easterwood was arrested about an hour later in the front yard of his home.

Elliott said Easterwood and Dismuke had been living together but were estranged. Dismuke had recently moved in with the Scotts, Elliott said.

He said Dismuke and Easterwood had ongoing domestic problems, but there were never any incidences where officers could make an arrest. The sheriff's department recently served Easterwood with a notice to stay away from where Dismuke lived, Elliott said.

The sheriff said a security camera at the store captured the shooting and that investigators were talking with witnesses who saw the incident.

Wind triples size of Okefenokee wildfire

FOLKSTON, GA. --- Authorities say a fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge along the Georgia-Florida border has nearly tripled since Friday.

The fire is consuming 44,000 acres after winds shifted Saturday from the northwest to the southwest. Authorities say the blaze is approaching the eastern refuge boundary southwest of Folkston and the western edge near Fargo.

That's still a small fraction of the swamp's 438,000 acres.

All boating has been suspended at the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area as a precaution. And Stephen C. Foster State Park has closed until the fire is under control.

Police searching for two shooting suspects

MORROW, GA. --- Police are searching for two suspects after a shooting in Clayton County that left two men dead and two more hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Clayton County Police Lt. Tina Daniels said the shooting was about 8 p.m. Saturday in Morrow. She said several people were outdoors when the gunfire erupted.

She declined to release the names of the victims or the suspects. She said the two survivors were hospitalized but their conditions weren't immediately known.

Daniel says detectives were talking with witnesses overnight to determine what happened and it wasn't immediately clear how many people fired shots. She said the incident wasn't a "stranger on stranger" crime but declined to give a possible motive.