GBI makes arrest in Wadley double homicide

WADLEY, Ga. -- Willie James Kitchens, 30, of Barbara Street in Wadley, was taken into custody today about 2:50 p.m. in regards to the deaths of two Wadley citizens. With the arrest of a suspect, GBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Ayers identified the victims as Melanie Troupe and Corey Kemp.

At the time of the interview, Ayers said he did not have the ages of Ms. Troupe nor Mr. Kemp.

Ayers put the time of death near midnight last night.

“That’s when the fire was reported,” Ayers said, referring to a fire that had been set at the home, which is also on Barbara Street in Wadley, where the bodies were discovered. The house belongs to Ms. Troupe’s grandmother, Frankie May Oglesby.

Ayers would not give a cause of death pending autopsy results. A motive in the case has not been announced.

Ayers said the agencies participating in the investigation besides the Thomson post of the GBI were the Wadley Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 units from the Columbia County and Richmond County sheriff’s offices as well as members of the Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office.

Ayers said Kitchens has been charged with two counts of malice murder in this case and Kitchens may face other charges.

“Additional charges may be filed; but, it will be through the DA’s office,” he said.

Ayers would not answer other questions or release further details, stating his concern to protect the integrity of the case. He referred other questions to District Attorney Hayward Altman.

Altman said he and investigators would be discussing the case over the weekend and any additional charges, if filed, would be announced.

“Additional charges will be forthcoming after discussion with all the investigating agencies. I do expect additional charges to take place,” Altman said Friday.