A Columbia County woman severely beaten during a Wednesday burglary died this afternoon.
Police confirmed the death of Laverne Katherine Parsons, 41, and said they will now pursue her death as a homicide.
Head trauma is the official cause of death, but an autopsy will probably be conducted Friday at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta, according to Coroner Vernon Collins.
Mrs. Parsons was probably attacked with a baseball bat or claw hammer in her home Wednesday morning after returning home from taking her son to school.
In a Columbia County Sheriffs Office incident report released this morning, deputies said they found her lying on the garage floor of her Orchard Hill subdivision home off Columbia Road.
Deputies noted that a bat and claw hammer were on the floor near Mrs. Parsons.
Deputies who first arrived at the house at 229 Hot Springs Drive, thought it to be the scene of a break-in with no one home.
Then they found a trail of blood that led to the garage and Mrs. Parsons, said sheriffs Capt. Steve Morris.
Deputies were called to the scene Wedneday by a workman who was supposed to do some repairs at the house. He told police he found the glass of the homes French doors shattered and authorities were notified.
When a deputy first entered the home, he found what appeared to be blood on the sofa and living room rug, according to the police report. Deputies also found blood on the walls and doors of the two-story brick home.
Authorities believe Mrs. Parsons interrupted a burglary in progress when she returned home about 9 a.m. after taking her children to school.
She was confronted by the suspect and was attacked and was seriously injured, Capt. Morris said Wednesday.
The home next door, at 227 Hot Springs Drive, also was burglarized, Capt. Morris said.
Area residents have been warned, he said, and are being asked to notify police if they saw anything suspicious this morning, Capt. Morris said.
Anyone with information concerning the attack or burglaries should call the Columbia County Sheriffs Office at (706) 541-2800.
Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115,