Coroner has beating death details

A Columbia County woman injured in a Wednesday attack at her home died from head injuries, the state crime lab determined today.

Investigators confirmed that Laverne Parsons, 41, died of blunt force head trauma, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said.

Police say it appears Mrs. Parsons interrupted a burglary at her home after returning from taking her son to Evans Middle School.

A hammer and baseball bat were found at the scene and Ms. Garrison said both objects were probably used in the attack.

In another development today, police said they have not found a link between the Wednesday morning attack on Mrs. Parsons and the Thursday night shooting of her next-door neighbor and co-worker Rebecca Sears, also 41, as she was leaving the company for which both women worked.

“We have been in contact with Richmond County authorities concerning that matter, but there’s no evidence to suggest a link,” said Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

Ms. Sears, was shot in the leg late Thursday outside the Healing Hands Physical Therapy Center on Highland Avenue.

Ms. Sears lived at 227 Hot Springs Drive in Columbia County's Orchard Hill subdivision. Mrs. Parsons lived at 229 Hots Springs Drive.

Both women were pictured on the company's Web site until it was taken down late this afternoon.

Both locations of Healing Hands in Augusta and Thomson were also closed this afternoon and phone messages seeking information about the two co-workers were not returned.

Capt. Morris would not say the crimes were somehow connected.

“We don’t concern ourselves with speculation or conjecture; it’s evidence, and there’s no evidence to suggest a connection,” he said.

Mrs. Parsons died Thursday afternoon from her injuries, Ms. Sears was shot about six hours later.

According to a Sheriff's Office incident report, Ms. Sears told investigaors she was walking to her vehicle when a man she did not know appeared from the rear of the building and brandished a pistol.

She said she turned to go back inside when a gunshot grazed both legs.

Ms. Sears told police the man said if she "didn't have his money it would be her face."

He then ran toward a wooded area. Police found a .22-caliber shell casing at the scene, according to the report.

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