Originally created 04/16/04

Police search for pregnant Augusta woman



Police were searching Thurs­day night for an Augusta woman who is three months pregnant and believed to have been abducted after a burglary at her mother's west Augusta home.

Tamara Dunstan, 29, was last seen at her mother's residence at 2713 Kipling Drive off of Boy Scout Road, said sheriff's Inves­tigator Richard Roundtree. Her vehicle was at the scene and her keys were inside the house when authorities responded, according to police.

Mrs. Dunstan's family has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to her return and the arrest of those responsible.

Maj. Ken Autry said that, based on preliminary information, police believe Mrs. Dunstan did not know her abductor.

"It doesn't appear that she was familiar with the suspects," he said, adding that "we did find evidence of foul play" at the house.

Deputies received a call to the area at about 5:15 p.m. Police believe the incident occurred sometime between 2:30 and 5 p.m.

Hours after the abduction occurred, residents living in and around the area were contacted by an emergency phone message system asking for their help in finding a dark-colored, newer model Ford Mustang with a USC Aiken plate on the front of the vehicle.

Residents also were asked to look out for a black man in his mid-20s, wearing a red T-shirt, and a white man in his mid-20s, both of whom were occupants of the vehicle.

"Basically, what that is doing is enhancing our canvass," Maj. Autry said.He stressed that the men are wanted only for questioning. He said a neighbor in the Kipling Drive area noticed the vehicle and the men during the time of the incident.

"It's not that we have definitely connected (the vehicle) to this incident," Maj. Autry said.

A Georgia State Patrol helicopter also was called in to help search the wooded area around the Kipling Drive house and was flying over late Thursday night.

Andrea Timmerman said Mrs. Dunstan had told her mother Sunday that she is pregnant.She said she was surprised at her cousin's disappearance and that she didn't know why something like this happened."She's the sweetest person you'd ever know," Mrs. Tim­mer­man said.Mrs. Dunstan is described as white, 5-feet-4-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair.Mrs. Dunstan is a nurse at University Hospital, Mrs. Tim­merman said. She had previously worked at Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center in Augusta as a nurse, according to an engagement announcement in the Feb. 5, 2003, edition of The Augusta Chronicle.The announcement also said that Mrs. Dunstan graduated from Clemson University. She received her license as a registered nurse license in 1998, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's Web site.Mrs. Dunstan is married to Bernard Samuel Dunstan III of Augusta. Maj. Autry said late Thursday that Mr. Dunstan had been contacted about the abduction and at this point is not suspected to be involved in his wife's abduction."There's no indication at all that that might be the case," Maj. Autry said.As traffic was rerouted by Richmond County Sheriff's Depu­ties at the entrance of the Brier­cliff subdivision, neighbors, family member and friends looked on, some crying and embracing. Neighbors said that although their neighborhood is nice, there have been recent burglaries there.Tom Staton, who lives on Kipling Drive, was among the crowd and said he knew of two burglaries in the area in the past two months. He said he recently had a security system installed at his house, but "I've never had any problems."

Maj. Autry said his department is researching past burglaries in the area.Aiken County sheriff's blood­hounds were called in by Rich­mond County to help in Thursday's search for Ms. Dunstan. Police also went door-to-door, canvassing the neighborhood.

Anyone with information about Ms. Dunstan is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080.

Staff writers Kate Lewis and C. Samantha McKevie contributed to this article.

Reach Preston Sparks and Jeremy Craig at (706) 724-0851.