Authorities told UGA associate professor Barbara Carroll on May 1 she may want to go into hiding, soon after discovering that Zinkhan, on the day before the April 25 murders of his wife and two of her friends, had mapped out a route to Carrolls Oconee County home, officials confirmed to reporters on Monday.
Carroll who says she had a bitter, yearslong conflict with Zinkhan over complaints she made about him took the advice.
I was told by the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) and the Oconee sheriffs office Friday morning (May 1) that they had found a MapQuest.com map to my house in George Zinkhans red Jeep, Carroll wrote in an e-mail to the Athens Banner-Herald.
Carroll, an associate professor of marketing, said at the time she was afraid for her life and worried about resuming her normal routine while Zinkhan still was at large.
Authorities didnt confirm Carrolls story until Monday, two days after they found Zinkhan dead of an apparent suicide in the western Clarke County woods near his abandoned Jeep.
The FBI found evidence Zinkhan had looked up directions to Carrolls house using the mapping Web site April 24, the day before the shootings outside Athens Community Theater, said Oconee County Sheriffs Office Chief Deputy Lee Weems.
Early on the morning of May 1, after investigators discovered Zinkhans Jeep deep in the woods near the Jackson County line, Oconee sheriffs officials checked on Carroll at the FBIs request, Weems said.
We met with her, just discussed some options and just suggested maybe shed be better off going elsewhere, he said.
The 4 a.m. visit was a precaution authorities had to take, in light of the April 25 killings, but there was no evidence of a specific threat against Carroll, Weems said.
I know of nothing specific that says he was at her house or had plans to kill her, he said.
Still, Carroll, who said she complained to superiors at UGA years ago that Zinkhan harassed her, thinks her former colleague definitely had another murder on his mind.
Zinkhan and I have not spoken for over a decade, Carroll said in an e-mail on Monday. He was not using this map to come over for tea.
In e-mails to the Banner-Herald and Terry College of Business colleagues, Carroll also claims she had warned superiors that Zinkhan was dangerous.
Others who worked with Zinkhan have said they had no idea the once-respected professor and researcher was capable of murder.
Carroll has argued frequently with other coworkers, and a UGA lawyer found in 2007 she had violated the universitys policy against harassment and discrimination when she complained the marketing department was giving preferential treatment to Asians in hiring decisions.
However, the university granted Carroll a raise in 2008, while she agreed to retire by Jan. 1, 2011, and promised not to sue the university.
Following a news conference Saturday to discuss the discovery of Zinkhans body, authorities have been pretty tight-lipped about many details of his apparent suicide or other developments in the investigation.
Athens-Clarke police, who have been reviewing an autopsy report from the GBI Crime Lab near Atlanta, will hold another news conference at 9 a.m. today to wrap up the case.
An FBI spokesman on Monday declined to answer questions about Carrolls involvement, deferring to the upcoming news conference.