Homicide victim found in burned out south Ga. house

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 7:23 AM
Last updated 6:29 PM
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BROXTON, Ga. -- A body found in the ruins of a Friday house fire was the woman who lived there and she died as the result of a homicide, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday.

It was only after an autopsy Tuesday that the charred body was identified as Edith Carole Sheffield, 49.

Russell Mansfield, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Douglas office, would not say why her death was considered a homicide or even the cause of her death.

The state fire marshal’s office is assisting in the investigation, but the cause of the fire has not been determined, Mansfield said.

Firefighters arrived at the burning home near Broxton about 6:30 p.m. Friday but did not find the body until Saturday, county Sheriff Doyle Wooten said.

Although Sheffield’s car was at the house on Bowen’s Mill Road about halfway between Ambrose and Broxton, firefighters couldn’t find her.

“It was strange. The house went up rather quickly. We couldn’t find a body,’’ Wooten said.

While some sifted through the ashes of the two-story home, others checked out ponds in the surrounding area and even did a check from the air with a helicopter, Wooten said. Early Saturday night, a body was found in the ruins.

Wooten described Sheffield as “a fine person.”

“She worked at a local bank here and knew a lot of people,’’ he said. “You couldn’t find anybody who would say a bad thing about her.”

The death was the first of two weekend tragedies in Coffee County, both of which covered parts of two days. Rescue workers worked 16 hours from just after noon Saturday until about 5:30 a.m. Sunday to free Geronimo Delgado, 51, from a collapsed well. Delgado died when the last of several cave-ins of the well overwhelmed efforts of the rescue workers.


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