Originally created 10/17/00

Officials identify 4th victim

Arrest warrants were issued for Reinaldo J. Rivera in the death of another Augusta-area woman late Monday.

"We have charged Reinaldo J. Rivera with the murder of Tabitha Leigh Bosdell," Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Authorities Monday identified the skeletal remains found Saturday as that of Miss Bosdell, 18, of Timberwoods Apartments on Skinner Mill Road. Police say she is the latest victim of Mr. Rivera to be discovered.

Family members, who did not want to be identified, said they last saw Miss Bosdell in late June. They described her as someone who was good with children and "sweet, caring, beautiful and very loving."

Brian Alwin, who worked as a telemarketer with Miss Bosdell at Futurecall before she disappeared, remembered her fondly.

"She was sweet. It's a damn shame," Mr. Alwin said. "The worst stuff always happens to the best people."

Police say Mr. Rivera provided information that led them to Miss Bosdell's body, located just a couple of miles off Interstate 20 near Pumpkin Center - about 300 yards from the pavement, hidden among thick brush behind an open field next to a murky pond. Police canvassed the area Saturday and found no personal items near the body, Capt. Morris said.

Authorities say the teen was strangled to death and had been left in the wooded area for two to three months.

Mr. Rivera - a husband and father of two - faces murder charges in the deaths of Sgt. Marni Glista in September, Tiffaney Wilson in December and Melissa Faye Dingess, who had been missing since July 17, 1999. Capt. Morris said police have not determined where Miss Bosdell was killed.

Mr. Rivera faces additional charges in Richmond and Aiken counties, including criminal sexual conduct, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy and rape in last week's attack on Chrisilee Barton in her south Augusta home. Ms. Barton was stabbed in the neck three times but survived. Her description of the attacker led police to Mr. Rivera, who was found with slashed wrists in a South Carolina hotel room Thursday.

He is being held without bond at the Richmond County Jail.

Mr. Alwin, 24, shared a cubicle wall with Miss Bosdell at Futurecall, and the two spoke often between calls. Turnover at the company is high, so no one took much notice when she suddenly didn't show up for work, he said.

"All of the sudden out of nowhere, she wasn't there anymore," he said. "I didn't think much of it. People quit there all the time."

"At that place, if you report someone missing who doesn't show up for work, you'd be busy doing that all the time."

She worked the night shift - from 3:45 p.m. to midnight - less than three months, and likely made about $9 per hour, he said. She had blue eyes, dark blond hair and braces.

She was petite and beautiful, Mr. Alwin said.

A woman who said she was Miss Bosdell's foster mother for four years declined to comment on the details of the case. However, she did say that an incident report about Miss Bosdell not coming home was filed with Richmond County authorities.

She later described Miss Bosdell's family situation as "complicated."

Authorities had difficulty locating Miss Bosdell's mother, and her father, James Presley Bosdell, is serving a four-year sentence for possession of cocaine, District Attorney Danny Craig said.

Department of Corrections officials were checking Monday to see whether Mr. Bosdell had been notified of his daughter's death. They had not returned phone calls late Monday.

Staff Writers Johnny Edwards and Peggy Ussery contributed to this story.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 109

Tabitha Leigh Bosdell

Saturday: The skeletal remains of Tabitha Leigh Bosdell, 18, are found by Columbia County deputies near Pumpkin Center in Harlem. The Augusta woman, who worked at Futurecall, was last seen in July, but had not been reported missing. Authorities say she was strangled.


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