Police searched near Athens for Augusta slaying suspect

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Authorities believe an Augusta man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend and shooting her new boyfriend passed through Oglethorpe County east of Athens late Sunday afternoon.

Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s deputies, along with Georgia State Patrol troopers, searched the northern portion of the county for hours starting at 4 p.m. after receiving information that 42-year-old Earl Demetrius Dinkins was in the area, Sheriff Mike Smith said this morning.

Sheriff Smith would not say what information law enforcement received that led them to Oglethorpe County, but authorities believe Mr. Dinkins was just passing through.

“We don’t have any reason to believe that he’s still in the area,” Sheriff Smith said.

Mr. Dinkins, who authorities consider to be armed and dangerous, shot his girlfriend, Sirlinda Vernesa Price, 34, in front of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday in her Augusta home, according to Richmond County authorities.

The girl was not injured in the attack.

Ms. Price was at home with her new boyfriend, Melroy Stephen Browman, 38, when Mr. Dinkins broke down the door and opened fire, police said.

Police believe Mr. Dinkins was upset about Ms. Price’s new relationship with Mr. Browman.

Mr. Browman drove himself to the hospital with a gunshot wound. He is in stable condition, police said.

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