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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Jannek2
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Jannek2 09/04/09 - 09:54 pm
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Excuse me but I think that

Excuse me but I think that all of you with these nasty comments should really take a look at yourselves and re-evaluate your morals. This is a very tragic and unforgivable crime that his mother committed...it doesn't matter WHAT exsist in someones past they do not deserve to be murdered. ESPECIALLY a 24 year old boy. Didn't your mother ever teach you that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. What a bunch of arrogant people who live in this town that think you are so superior that it's okay for you to speak ill of those who have passed on. Shame on you all.

Seashells
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Seashells 09/04/09 - 11:12 pm
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I am sorry it has come to

I am sorry it has come to this in Columbia County.
I have been in court with a young person and asked for help from the judge. He just dismissed me. All Columbia County cares about is the probation money they are making.
The economy is bad and they expect these young people to find jobs that will pay them enough money for these probation fees. More than likely the fees have to come from the parents,grandparents. Minimum wage will not get you a car,insurance, to get to work and pay those fees.
Most of these teens need rehab or mental help that Columbia County does not want to provide cause they will lose those probation fees.I know these young people should be staying out of trouble and I pray things will get better.
The whole system in that county is a joke to me.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 09/04/09 - 11:36 pm
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Don't keep commiting crimes

Don't keep commiting crimes you won't have to pay fines, probation and restitution!! Don't want to pay probation, do your time, most are thankful to get probation instead of extended time. Ask the judge to lock them up to teach them a lesson, the family pay for rehab. Why should tax payers pay for any criminals probation monitoring or incarceration if they are of age. It's called taking responsibility for your actions. But I do agree the justice system as a whole, not just columbia county, does nothing but try to get paid when they should be incarcerating and giving hard labor, chain gangs, make them grow their own food, wear pink lol etc... w/e rather than BS jails and prisons they have now! It would be a lot more of a deterrant that these measly fines!

123chris321
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123chris321 09/05/09 - 12:12 am
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I knew Rob in high school and

I knew Rob in high school and had many friends that knew him too. And yes, I also got caught up in the wrong crowd, got in trouble, and was one of the few that had to serve hard time. I spent a year in prison as a result of my "childish antics" and believe me, it showed me that the world that i was living in was not what I wanted. So, I believe that people should be punished accordingly and be made to face their punishments like a man. It turned my life around, other that the ex-con label i will carry around for the rest of my life. Second chances are hard to come by nowadays, trust me. I don't think people understand the despair one is overcome with when they are in situations like his family. rip Rob, and please show some compassion people...

1941
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1941 09/05/09 - 06:20 am
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The ACES, wrote this story in

The ACES, wrote this story in this way, to do just what it did, to get others opion!And the opions are just what they are, opions!!Lets say what this is all about, he probaly is white,if this was a black, you would have seen far nastier things said about the victim, his mother, and anyone who came in contact with them! If it was a black, thier pictures would have been splashed on the front page, same day. If it would have been a black, his record woul have been, in the paper! So don;t get upset with us, we are just beign real, about how the ACES,divide the city!!

1941
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1941 09/05/09 - 06:34 am
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These same posters, who have

These same posters, who have so many kind words for the victims, where were your kind words for the young lady that 'snapped' and killed her two children? Her picture was posted the same day, and these same people who have so many good things to say about this situation, ripped that young girl apart, and she was not on any drugs, she did not get caught up with the wrong crowd, she just ''snapped".The diffrence is one was black, the other white!!!

mwbga
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mwbga 09/05/09 - 08:35 am
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All I can say is we all have

All I can say is we all have burdens of diff. sorts and every body doesn't cope as well as others, sometimes their minds get overwhelmed and so clouded they become irrational. We don't know what Rob's Mom was thinking when she did this horrible act but OBVIOUSLY she was trying in a horrible, twisted kind of way to relieve her son of some kind of torment. Their conversations were only between them and no one will know what proceded what she did. Maybe in her twisted way she felt like she was doing him a favor, nevertheless she was mentally disturbed and what we should be doing is praying for her soul and try to give the family any/all the support we can at this very, very sad time. It is not a time to be cruel to the family members that are left and lost 2 loved ones by bashing the mother. I pray for God to give their family the strength to get through this, esp. the Grandfather that was woke by the sound of gunshots only to find his daughter and Grandson dead. God Bless all of them !!

corgimom
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corgimom 09/05/09 - 12:52 pm
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Rational people don't do

Rational people don't do things like this. She was severely mentally ill. My condolences to the family.

Rose
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Rose 09/05/09 - 01:08 pm
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Just because someone murders

Just because someone murders someone does not make the murderer a mental case. If it were true, then go ahead and empty all the prisons. The mother did not have to kill her son. She could have kicked him out to fiend for himself. I told my kids that if they ever commit a crime, never call me to get them out of jail, that they are on their own.

Rose
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Rose 09/05/09 - 01:09 pm
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Pampering a criminal is the

Pampering a criminal is the wrong thing to do.

christie
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christie 09/05/09 - 07:51 pm
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Such a heartbreaking

Such a heartbreaking tragedy. My prayers go out to the family.

lbadcox
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lbadcox 09/06/09 - 08:11 pm
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RIP, Rob. I cannot sit here

RIP, Rob.

I cannot sit here and read some of these comments and not put in my "2 cents worth". I knew Rob. Not well...not one of my best friends...but he went to school with my daughter, and I knew him from running in to him at several social events over the years. I know many of his close friends very well, and they are all heartbroken. Every time I ran in to Rob, he always hugged me and spoke kind words to me. He was polite and lit up the room. I could tell that he was well liked. How can some of you people post such hateful comments during such a sad time? Can any of you say that you have NEVER done anything wrong? Who are you to judge? Should you be throwing stones in a glass house? No matter what Rob did or didn't do, he didn't deserve to be murdered, and his family doesn't deserve to have to go through this tragedy. Perhaps your comments would be more appreciated if you expressed your sympathy to his closest friends and family who have to pick up the pieces and go on every day wondering why this had to happen. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends...

Rob: You will be terribly missed, buddy. RIP.....

peachy1230
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peachy1230 09/07/09 - 11:58 pm
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Augusta Chronicle, why are

Augusta Chronicle, why are you censoring the Weinberger stories & why are you not allowing comments and why have you removed all the 100's of previously posted comments? What about the First Amendment? What about our freedom of speech? You have never hesitated to allow comments on other stories of similar situations.Why the preferential treatment for this story? You are showing your bias and prejudice.

mistert83
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mistert83 10/17/09 - 11:15 pm
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I would love to talk to the

I would love to talk to the people whose comments were removed. I am his brother and if you want to talk lets talk and see how you feel after we talk...

MrAlwaysRight
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MrAlwaysRight 10/18/09 - 12:08 am
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pay no attn to the wortthless

pay no attn to the wortthless pos's. may God be with you.

mistert83
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mistert83 10/18/09 - 01:47 am
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To ROSE who made the comment

To ROSE who made the comment about kicking him out because he is a criminal....Rob did is time for what he did and moved back into my grandparents house to help with their care.....take your ignorant self and pay attention to your own lives.

MrAlwaysRight
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MrAlwaysRight 10/18/09 - 11:10 am
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Mister: If Rose had one

Mister: If Rose had one additional brain cell it would still be lonely.

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