Police seek help solving fatal attack

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Columbia County authorities say they need help solving the brutal beating death of a woman who apparently interrupted a burglary at her home in a quiet neighborhood near Grovetown.

Columbia County sheriff's deputies said they found Laverne Parsons, 41, on the garage floor of her home at 229 Hot Springs Drive in the Orchard Hill subdivision Wednesday.

A baseball bat and claw hammer, which might have been used in the beating, were found nearby.

Mrs. Parsons was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she died Thursday afternoon, sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said. Head trauma is the suspected cause, but an autopsy will be conducted this morning at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said.

Deputies investigating a burglary found a blood trail that led to the garage and Mrs. Parsons, according to a police report.

A contractor who arrived to work at the home called police after finding shattered glass from a French door at the rear of the house. When a deputy entered, he found what appeared to be blood on the sofa and living room rug. Deputies also found blood on the walls and doors.

Authorities say they believe Mrs. Parsons returned to her home about 9 a.m. after taking her son to Evans Middle School.

School psychologists and counselors were at Lewiston Elementary and Evans Middle schools to help students deal with Mrs. Parsons' death.

"We've had our counselors and our school psychologist on hand to be able to assist those students that were close to the family to be able to comfort them," said Evans Middle Principal Michael Johnson.

The home next door, at 227 Hot Springs Drive, also was burglarized, Capt. Morris said.

"We are following some leads," he said. "We have our suspicions, but we're nowhere near solving this case."

Residents of the quiet neighborhood were shocked.

"You move to a neighborhood because it's supposed to be a nice, safe place to live, and then something like this happens," said Jamie Zellner, 30.

The former Army sergeant, who served in Afghanistan, said he wasn't afraid of something similar happening to him.

"I'm just going to improve access to my weapons," he said.

Jesse Leech, an eight-year resident of Orchard Hill, said he has never heard of a break-in there.

"We watch out for each other," he said.

Capt. Morris said he hopes someone was watching. Police spent much of Wednesday questioning neighbors.

"Someone knows something concerning this crime," he said. "Although we have some leads, we need some help."

Anyone with information concerning the killing is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at (706) 541-2800.

"This person has clearly demonstrated just how dangerous they are," Capt. Morris said. "We're utilizing every available resource in manpower and technology to locate this individual."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

HOME SAFETY TIPS

- Invest in a security system. "The use of home alarms, wireless surveillance systems and outdoor security cameras will contribute to ensuring the safety of your family and your property," said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

- Time a light or radio to turn on when you're out of the house. "A dark quiet house at an hour when most people are still awake can be an invitation to a break-in," Capt. Morris said.

- Be aware, and watch out for your neighbors. "An aware, organized neighborhood where everyone knows and looks out for each other and their property is one of the strongest sources of security."

HOW TO HELP

EVANS MIDDLE SCHOOL: Principal Michael Johnson said the school is collecting donations. Send checks made out to the family to: Parsons Family, c/o Evans Middle School, 4785 Hereford Farm Road, Evans, GA 30809.

WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Donations to support the family can be mailed to the church at 825 N. Belair Road, Evans, GA 30809.

Comments (42) Add comment
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NEone
6
Points
NEone 03/27/09 - 12:48 am
0
0
I'm so sorry for this

I'm so sorry for this family's loss. God bless and comfort you.

Augustapaperdoll
0
Points
Augustapaperdoll 03/27/09 - 12:50 am
0
0
I believe this person lives

I believe this person lives in that neighborhood.

LEO
0
Points
LEO 03/27/09 - 05:32 am
0
0
I believe that is a file

I believe that is a file photo of Richmond County Crime Scene vehicles.

what
0
Points
what 03/27/09 - 05:38 am
0
0
May God comfort this family

May God comfort this family during this painful time.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/27/09 - 06:06 am
0
0
I hope they find the

I hope they find the individual or individuals and beat them within an inch of their sorry excuse for a life and then give them the death penalty. If anyone ever deserves it this person or persons do. A co-worker just told me that they had three breakins with stolen cars in Appling yesterday, possible a crime ring, who knows. I hope that God will comfort this family and give them the strength to get through this horrible tragidy. Also I pray for the family of the 13 year old who ws killed.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 03/27/09 - 06:40 am
0
0
this person was doing what I

this person was doing what I do everyday.. take my child to school and then come back home to get ready for work.. it could happen to anyone and anywhere.. unfortunately the economy plays a part because people are desperate.. but it is those that are unstable, lack morals and education are the ones committing crimes like this one.. I hope they catch all of them, lock them up and throw the key away.. If I was the head person in a jail.. I would deprive them of the basic human needs and let them rot in jail!!

curly123053
5141
Points
curly123053 03/27/09 - 06:45 am
0
0
My prayers are with the

My prayers are with the Parsons family. Folks, we all need to be aware of our surroundings. Please be careful and do not enter your home if it seems tampered with after returning home. This is so tragic.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 03/27/09 - 06:57 am
0
0
LadyCisback - I can

LadyCisback - I can understand your last sentence but the reality is that if the suspect is not afforded ALL his/her rights that the Constitution guarantees and the Courts uphold this slimeball would have a possibility of getting off on a technicality. I'm sure Sheriff Whittle and his crew will do everything right to make sure that doesn't happen, even his jailers when they find the suspect.

MeinAugusta2
39
Points
MeinAugusta2 03/27/09 - 07:10 am
0
0
LEO - I believe you are

LEO - I believe you are correct in saying that they are Richmond County vehicles. However, maybe the Richmond County officers were helping the Columbia County Sheriff's Department since they have so much more experience with this type of violence. Regardless, my thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

Waymore
103
Points
Waymore 03/27/09 - 07:13 am
0
0
Not that it really matters,

Not that it really matters, LEO, but it is not a file photo. And what would it matter if it was?

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 03/27/09 - 07:16 am
0
0
Hey AC, is it not politically

Hey AC, is it not politically correct to suggest people ARM THEMSELVES!?

db16
95
Points
db16 03/27/09 - 07:17 am
0
0
I wish Georgia would re-write

I wish Georgia would re-write the laws. When this individual(s) is caught I would love for the children and husband of this woman to be able to, publicly, hang this criminal by his neck and skin them like a catfish. After that...they should get out some broom sticks and bats and beat them like a pinata! I think that the CSRA could sell tickets to this event and make a very large sum of money to help this family and the children attend college, not to mention showing the public that your punishment will be 'two-fold' if you are caught! Pray for CCSD to find this person ASAP!
I am applying for a permit to carry today!

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 03/27/09 - 07:20 am
0
0
I truly hope the person who

I truly hope the person who did this resists arrest when located...Bang! Swift justice...

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 03/27/09 - 07:21 am
0
0
This seems to be a very open

This seems to be a very open area. Someone seemed very comfortable burglarizing these particular homes.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 03/27/09 - 07:22 am
0
0
Just make sure when you ARM

Just make sure when you ARM yourselves that you have a safe at home to lock the guns up. Otherwise it won't do any good. We will just have more guns on the street. And if you arm yourselves, make sure you take it with you everywhere you go or you will wind up like this poor lady. I hope the hang these SOBs high.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 03/27/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
JW hopefully he tries to

JW hopefully he tries to drive over a cop.

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 03/27/09 - 07:25 am
0
0
Many sheriff's departments

Many sheriff's departments share resources now. That's a good thing.

FranBo
0
Points
FranBo 03/27/09 - 07:26 am
0
0
My thoughts and prayers are

My thoughts and prayers are with the family. It is a horrible thing, when you cannot feel safe in your own home.

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 03/27/09 - 07:55 am
0
0
(Q)Columbia County sheriff's

(Q)Columbia County sheriff's deputies said they found Laverne Parsons, 41, on the garage floor of her home at 229 Hot Springs Drive in the Orchard Hill subdivision Wednesday. (UQ)
Is this a typo mistake??? Columbia County??? Isn't that supposed to say ( RICHMOND COUNTY ) Everything in the news paper & everyone who post to the Chronicle Forum's lead me to believe: That does not happen in Columbia County? >
Just a wake-up call to POINT OUT A REALITY.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 03/27/09 - 07:56 am
0
0
supposedly I live in a good

supposedly I live in a good neighborhood.. it's the stupid management where I live that keep putting this trash here where I live.. the next door tenant has a son.. that's a [filtered word]and a criminal and because of them a lot of good tenants have moved out and they keep trash here.. it only takes one.. to bring their posse and thug friends..

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 03/27/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
Yeah, you're right

Yeah, you're right AugustaVoter. I'm sure the piece of trash that killed her would have given her ample time to unlock the gun safe so that she could grab her gun and DEFEND HERSELF. /sarcasm

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 03/27/09 - 08:00 am
0
0
LadyCisback ...OK, you have

LadyCisback ...OK, you have our attention, where do you live?

Jen2803
1
Points
Jen2803 03/27/09 - 08:07 am
0
0
My heartfelt prayers go out

My heartfelt prayers go out to this family, their friends and co-workers. I wonder why they didn't have a security system though. It doesn't matter how good a neighborhood is something can always happen. I hope everyone learns from this and secures their homes to keep this from happening again. I have my security system, two big dogs who don't like strangers.

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 03/27/09 - 08:08 am
0
0
Most who post here have heard

Most who post here have heard me say this before. I'm almost 52 & have carried a firearm on my side (where it's legal) with my CCP since I was 21 years old. I go NO WHERE without it. The funniest/dummiest reoccuring question I am asked is.(WHY DO YOU CARRY A FIREARM)? Answer: Do you read & watch the news?
Is there really anything else to be said? Really? Do people like that think the news is made up or it's just to sell newspapers? Or it just happen's to everyone but them? I really don't under stand how some people find their way to work everyday. Really?

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 03/27/09 - 08:12 am
0
0
For arguments sake, carrying

For arguments sake, carrying a firearm is NO guarantee for your safety or that you will not be killed. But it is the ONLY chance you have. There is nothing more you can do. I carry a gun because a cop is to heavy & I can't afford their salary to follow me around to keep me safe. Obama does not support legal gun ownership. But he & his family get 24 hrs a day the best security OUR MONEY CAN BUY.
What security do we get...lol Oh i forgot we don't get any, we are in charge of our families safety. Cops are for AFTER THE FACT...NOT BEFORE

1trugent
0
Points
1trugent 03/27/09 - 08:39 am
0
0
Okay, unless this supect(s)

Okay, unless this supect(s) cleaned up after this brutal attack, they would have a good amount of blood on them. That means unless they live by themselves, someone out there knows this suspect because they had to come home with blood on them. I encourage anyone who knows of someone who may have come home with blood on their clothing this particular day, to contact local law enforcement. It might be your family member, but you still need to do do the right thing as to bring some type of closure to this family.

usafveteran
32
Points
usafveteran 03/27/09 - 08:51 am
0
0
My heart and prayers go out

My heart and prayers go out to the Parsons Family and the entire neighborhood.

Whoever did this despicable crime will be punished--either in this life and in the next. May our justice system prove worthy of such a criminal.

toldya
0
Points
toldya 03/27/09 - 09:51 am
0
0
You don't need a permit or a

You don't need a permit or a license to have a weapon in your home.

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 03/27/09 - 10:13 am
0
0
mitzpoo@nu-z.net
0
Points
mitzpoo@nu-z.net 03/27/09 - 11:36 am
0
0
my prayers are with the

my prayers are with the parson family for this horrific tragedy,when they catch this person,they need to really make him pay for this horrible crime,life in prison is not enough.

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