Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 22, 2009

Teen found dead

Authorities work possible homicide

VALDOSTA — A dead body was discovered in the back yard of a Bunche Street residence Wednesday afternoon.

Valdosta police have a “person of interest” in the case.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Valdosta police answered a call that a dead African-American female had been discovered in the back yard of the 1029 Bunche St. residence, said Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress.

The young woman is 17 years old, and she lived at the Bunche Street address, Childress said. Authorities released no further information regarding an identity.

However, she was believed to be in a relationship with a 21-year-old boyfriend, police said. This boyfriend was the person of interest being questioned by police Wednesday evening. Neither his name nor the girl’s name had been released by press time.

The 17-year-old’s cause of death had yet to be determined, but police were treating the case as a homicide until proven otherwise.

Approximately a dozen Valdosta police cruisers and detective vehicles lined the street as police officers and investigators worked the scene.

The city’s mobile crime unit arrived to offer officers and investigators relief from the 90-plus-degree afternoon temperatures. The mobile crime lab’s raised camera gave officers new perspectives on the crime scene and neighborhood.

Police had yellow-taped the yard around the bright-blue Bunche Street residence. Yellow, numbered markers dotted potential evidence on a side yard by the residence’s carport. Three vans with handicapped tags were parked on the residence’s property within the confines of the police tape.

One of these vans contained a woman and at least one small child. Police talked with the woman and appeared to hand her children’s clothing from the residence at one point.

A pre-schooler’s multi-colored wagon was overturned in the front yard. A colorful child-sized picnic table sat in the back yard, visible from the street. A regulation-size, portable basketball hoop towered beside the residence’s driveway.

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