Mom, adult son dead in apparent murder-suicide

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The granddaughter and great-grandson of former Columbia County Sheriff Edward Tankersley died early Thursday morning in what authorities say was a murder-suicide.

Nancy Tankersley Anderson, 56, and Robert Anderson, 24, were pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m. by Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison, said Coroner Vernon Collins.

The bodies were found in a rear bedroom of a home at 6461 Washington Road, Appling, about two miles west of Pollards Corner, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said. The home is owned by Ms. Anderson's father, Robert Tankersley, Mr. Collins said. Mr. Tankersley is the son of Sheriff Tankersley, who died in 1986.

Ms. Anderson also is the cousin of Columbia County school board member Roxanne Whitaker. Mrs. Whitaker said Thursday that she and her family had not yet overcome the "initial shock" of what happened and did not immediately want to comment.

Mr. Tankersley called the sheriff's office when he was awakened shortly after 3 a.m. after hearing "four or five gunshots" and then finding the bodies of his daughter and grandson in a rear bedroom, Capt. Morris said.

Responding deputies found Mr. Anderson's body in a bed. He had what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds to the head, while Ms. Anderson was dead from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound, Mr. Collins said. A .38-caliber Taurus handgun was recovered from the scene, Capt. Morris said.

Both bodies were taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta for autopsies, Mr. Collins said.

Describing a possible motive for the suspected murder-suicide, Mr. Collins said Ms. Anderson left a two-page letter, dated Wednesday, explaining that she had decided to take her son's life and her own because of his mounting debts from fines and probation. The letter included detailed plans for their funerals, Mr. Collins added.

"The son had some legal issues and some fines and stuff, and she decided to end his life and hers, too," Mr. Collins said Wednesday. "She had this planned just how long, I don't know, but she made closure with it yesterday and final closure this morning."

Capt. Morris said Mr. Anderson had a criminal history that included drug violations and bad-check charges.

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

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justus4
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justus4 09/04/09 - 03:15 am
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A very sad example of bad
Unpublished

A very sad example of bad judgement, however, according to the story the young man had a "criminal history" but don't explain why he was not in prison. When was the last offense and what were the charges? Is that where all the fines and fees the lady worried about came from? Again, a terrible set of events and only reflect the poor mental comdition of our society.

smbga
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smbga 09/04/09 - 03:48 am
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It is definitely a

It is definitely a heartbreaking tragedy. And I agree that the mental condition of our society is getting extreme. Hurting people everywhere.

1941
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1941 09/04/09 - 05:37 am
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I don't remember reading

I don't remember reading about any of his ''crimes'' that could have cost them that much money, and for her to kill them both.What were his ''crimes''? I don't think this had to do with her mental state, I think she was just tired of spending the money and she was embarresed.Both of thier problems are solved now.

ispy4u
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ispy4u 09/04/09 - 05:41 am
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I wonder if drugs played a

I wonder if drugs played a part? I will wait for ASITIS to enlighten us all.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen 09/04/09 - 06:14 am
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What she should have done was

What she should have done was kick him out and let him figure that out on his own. He was 24 years old and he should not have been living at home with mom. The problem is not solved by the way;the debt will be left up to the family to pay. Collectors do not stop coming after you because you are deceased, they come after the family in attempt to collect. This was a very selfish move on her part which has left a lot of hurt loved ones behind over money, how foolish can you be.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 09/04/09 - 06:52 am
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concerned, i agree w/you 100%

concerned, i agree w/you 100% her and her husband should have stood shoulder to shoulder and sent him on his way.....it should not have been there responsibility to pay for his fines/probation, either he pays them or he goes back to jail. personal responsibility has to come into play some where along the line...now ther is a husband without a wife all because the selfish son chose not to do the right thing and was "enabled" by the mom to continue to bring strife and disharmony into his parent home..my heart and prayers goes out to the husband/father

giwi
106
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giwi 09/04/09 - 07:02 am
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the husband died of a heart

the husband died of a heart attack several years ago.

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 09/04/09 - 07:25 am
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Poor woman. She must have

Poor woman. She must have felt hopeless and alone. It must be difficult when your chidren (even grown ones) are drug addicts.

John Locke
345
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John Locke 09/04/09 - 07:26 am
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And these people were

And these people were relatives of law enforcement? Criminal history? drug use? guns? murder? And Columbia county is better than Richmond county how??

gofigure
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gofigure 09/04/09 - 07:43 am
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John Locke....children of ALL

John Locke....children of ALL backgrounds fall into corruption............mostly children of clergy.......As far as Columbia County..........live in it awhile and you will see the difference!

Spuds1694
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Spuds1694 09/04/09 - 08:16 am
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It does not matter where you

It does not matter where you live or your position in life. Drugs destroy families and communities everywhere.

UGA0816
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UGA0816 09/04/09 - 08:52 am
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I just can't believe how

I just can't believe how arrogant people have become in todays society. In my opinion, I think people who did not know Rob or his family should keep their opinions to themselves. His past is his past. Believe it or not people can change and he is an example of that. Rob was one of my friends and was a great one with a great personality. He could walk into a room and make anyone laugh. You could go to him for anything and he would always be there. Please keep in mind that he was a victim and he did not deserve to have someone decide to end his life for him. Also his family and friends are going through enough right now and all they need is to think positive and not have to hear of negative comments made by arrogant people. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. RIP Rob...you will be greatly missed!!!

apositivesoul
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apositivesoul 09/04/09 - 09:03 am
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This is all pretty simple.

This is all pretty simple. You see Rob made some mistakes but he was young. If you met the guy you would have never known about his criminal charges. NOT everybody goes to prison for minor violations. See Rob was no menace he was a great guy and over the last couple of years was getting more involved in church. He made poor decisions young but was trying to make up for them. As far as "collectors" you see the collectors that were gonna be after him was the government, if you dont pay the fines your go to prison, and Rob was a guy that didnt belong in prison. Who knows if he went to prison for failure to pay fines or restitution he may have been there for years.

apositivesoul
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apositivesoul 09/04/09 - 09:06 am
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Rob was my cousin and my

Rob was my cousin and my friend he loved his family and loved his friends, and because of this newspaper they tried to bash his name but ill always remember him Rob Anderson my family, my friend and like people in high school used to say, my twin.

mtb
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mtb 09/04/09 - 09:19 am
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WoW! It is unbelievable how

WoW! It is unbelievable how people choose to judge someone that they don't even know. I have to say Rob Anderson was an awesome friend and cousin and will be greatly missed. The words written about him are hurtful and cruel. My family will always know the truth of who he was. We loved him very much. I will miss them both but know that I will see them again one day. Please try to be respectful of our family. Your negative opinions on this matter does nothing to help ease the pain of loss.

bls
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bls 09/04/09 - 10:47 am
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My condolences to those of

My condolences to those of you who've lost a friend and family member.

Having read the article, my feeling is that I know very little about the 24 years of events and circumstances which preceded this tragedy. Surely there were family issues no outsider will ever understand.

Thank you 0816, soul, and mtb for speaking up.

If any of you previous posters has a perfect family dynamic, and no financial or mental health problems in you family tree, then let us all in on your secret to perfection.

I pray for peace and comfort for those left behind.

aparent
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aparent 09/04/09 - 11:06 am
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My thoughts and prayers are

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. So sad to see ignorant people posting such ignorant comments!!

shane1006
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shane1006 09/04/09 - 12:22 pm
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A-men, bis!! Extremely well

A-men, bis!! Extremely well stated. Thanks!!

rjay
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rjay 09/04/09 - 12:42 pm
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son should be proud to make

son should be proud to make his mother have to go that far because of his sorry butt

Roeschen
1
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Roeschen 09/04/09 - 01:57 pm
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My thoughts and prayers are

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young man and his mother.

MartinezMom
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MartinezMom 09/04/09 - 02:30 pm
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There are members of this

There are members of this family that I love with all of my heart. All of them are great people. If there is anyone on this board that has never done something stupid or made a mistake, speak now. I don't think any of you can. The choices here were definitely not the the best to make, but please use your hearts in this situation and if you can't say something kind, then don't say anything at all. You wouldn't want anyone bashing your family if you were in their shoes. My heart goes out to all members of this family. I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Evans Ga.
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Evans Ga. 09/04/09 - 02:32 pm
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This is a shame but mental

This is a shame but mental issues had to have a big part. Nobody does that unless they are chemically depressed. Prayers to the family and may you find as much support as possible surrounding you in this horrible time.

sharijackson08
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sharijackson08 09/04/09 - 02:48 pm
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I just cannot believe how

I just cannot believe how people are talking about this situation! I didn't know Rob as well as some, but in the small amount of time that I did get to know him, I found him to be a wonderful, warm person with a great spirit. All of you who are judging him should take a look at your own lives. Are you PERFECT?? RIP Rob....you will be missed!!!

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 09/04/09 - 02:51 pm
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My condolences to family and

My condolences to family and friends.

ispy4u
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ispy4u 09/04/09 - 03:15 pm
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What a big difference that

What a big difference that the parties involved make. These same posters criticized Kennedy of the day he died, up to and past his funeral. Now all of a sudden they are so compassionate and understanding.

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 09/04/09 - 04:24 pm
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John Locke, being a relative

John Locke, being a relative of law enforcement doesn't make you a perfect human being, but your comment sure shows your lack of intelligence. Truly a dumb bastard on your daddy's side.

Doyougetitnow
4
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Doyougetitnow 09/04/09 - 04:27 pm
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ispy [filtered word] does Kennedy have to

ispy [filtered word] does Kennedy have to do with this situation? Did Rob drive off a bridge & kill someone? Or just a few bad checks & the demon drugs? Alcohol, drugs, same thing, got it. RIP Rob. Condolences to the family.

southern gal
0
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southern gal 09/04/09 - 05:28 pm
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Rob was a great kid that fell

Rob was a great kid that fell in with the wrong croud in highschool. most kids experience this along the way and go on to live productive lives. He has honestly always wanted to do the right thing but it is hard when outside forces are pulling you in the wrong direction. Pleasing his family was all he ever wanted to do and had made great strides in the right direction. His grandpa and his niece was his light. his mom loved him but in her state of mind what she did must have made some kind of sense to her. Who knows what she was thinking. I have known them for a long time and both her boys were the center of her universe. For some unexplained reason she just snapped. No one here on earth can fix this or make any sense out of this, we all just have to live with it and carry on. just hug your family tonight and tell them how much you love them for you never know when it will be the last chance that you get. Live your life with no regrets if possible. Rob will always have a special place in my heart for I loved him like a son. He hopefully will be looking out for us until we meet up with him again. Love you Rob

sharijackson08
0
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sharijackson08 09/04/09 - 06:55 pm
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"If any one of you is without

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)

This is a significant statement about judging others. To be quick to pass judgement, is to act as though you have never sinned. It is God's role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Take an honest look at your life, recognize your sinful manner, and then look for ways to help others rather than hurt them!

From what I had witnessed with Rob, he was a genuine person and although he had done wrong, he does not deserve any kind of judgement from us sinners! Many of us, as I, didn't even know the trouble he had been in prior to the media spilling the beans. This all could have been left unsaid!!!

AUGgal
0
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AUGgal 09/04/09 - 08:23 pm
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To everyone who knew Rob, he

To everyone who knew Rob, he was a great guy. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives, who are you all to judge someone you didn't even know? People should just count their blessings today, and mind their own business. We should be keeping the family in our prayers and respecting their privacy as we would want others to do for us if we were in such a situation. RIP Rob! You are missed! Love ya!

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