[UPDATE] Authorities Search for Missing Elderly Couple

By: Eyewitness News; Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Press Release; AP Email
By: Eyewitness News; Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Press Release; AP Email

[UPDATE] 3-11 6:21pm by Dontaye Carter --

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says the autopsy report revealed the human remains found Wednesday in a Dooly County, Georgia cottonfield off a sandy dirt road is 85-year-old Gladis Russell.

She was identified by her dental records.

Russell and her husband Richard were missing for two weeks before 37-year-old Samuel Littleton confessed to murdering them and dumping their bodies on his way to Florida.

Last week, her husband's body was located in Tennessee.

An additional examination of Russell's body is still being conducted to determine a cause of death.
[UPDATE] 3-9 2:52pm --

Authorities have found what they believe to be the body of Gladis Russell (her husband's body was recovered in Tennessee) in the city of Vienna, Georgia near a cotton field off of a sandy dirt road, according to Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine.

Stay with WCTV for updates.


[UPDATE] 3/1 at 6:06 p.m. by Gabrielle Sarann--

This afternoon, a medical examiner identified Richard through dental records.

The place where his body was found matched Samuel Littleton's testimony: Up a hill, near a railroad trestle, next to a body of water.

But not in Georgia.

For seven days, south Georgia authorities combed areas along railroad tracks and cotton fields for their remains.

But the body of Richard Russell discovered in Chatanooga, changed the course of the investigation.

"We feel that possibly Mrs. Russell is going to be pretty close in that vicinity," said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. "Either in the bottom part of Tennessee, around Chatanooga Tennessee, or in the northern part of Georgia."

Area deputies say their search is called off until additional evidence indicates that Gladis' body is in the south Georgia area.

And right now, a full-scale search is underway in south Tennessee.

But there is no sign yet of Gladis Russell.


[UPDATE] 3-1 3:30pm -- Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP) --

The body of a man found in Tennessee on Saturday was positively identified on Tuesday as that of a missing Logan County man.

Dick Russell, of Bellefontaine, was reported missing on Feb. 17 along with his wife, Gladis.

Chattanooga, Tenn., police, along with the Hamilton and Bradley (Tennessee) Sheriff's Offices, said that they were searching for Gladis Russell's remains near Interstate 75, along with the Tennessee Highway Patrol's air unit.

The identification was positively made through dental records, according to Chattanooga police.


[UPDATE] 3-1 10:30am -- BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) --

Authorities say a body found over the weekend in Tennessee may be that of an elderly Ohio man who disappeared along with his wife more two weeks ago.

The news shifted the search for the missing couple from Georgia,
where a man suspected in their disappearance had told police he
dumped their bodies on the way to Florida.

Bellefontaine, Ohio, police chief Brad Kunze (KUHN'-zee) said
Tuesday the body found along a road in Chattanooga, Tenn., on
Saturday may be that of 84-year-old Richard Russell based on
information provided by police in Tennessee and known by
authorities in Ohio.

Samuel K. Littleton II was arrested last week in West Virginia,
where officials found the car belonging to Russell and his
85-year-old wife, Gladis.

Littleton is charged in a separate killing.


UPDATE] 2/28 at 6:56 p.m. by Gabrielle Sarann --

Eighty-four-year old Richard Russell, and his wife 85-year-old Gladis Russell, were allegedly kidnapped and killed by Samuel Littleton, whom authorities say confessed to their murder.

Deputies from Macon to the Florida line are searching along the interstate, in cotton fields and nearby wooded areas for the remains of the elderly couple.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine says Littleton confessed to dumping the bodies in places where they can be found.

Suspected killer Samuel Litttleton, 37, is believed to have been in the Valdsota area February 18.

Five days later, when he was captured in West Virginia, he confessed to kidnapping and murdering Gladis and Richard Russell.

In his testimony, investigators say Littleton discarded Gladis' body near a cotton field, and later Richard's by a railroad trestle.

About 25 Lowndes County investigators have been out all day, searching for any clues that may lead them to the Russells.

"We have gone back to where we first started our search, and we're going over that search and what we're doing is gridding off the sections we've already searched," said Prine. "And we're going to expand that east and west."

Tomorrow, Lowndes County deputies say they will launch a full-scale search made up of at least 40 investigators.

In the meantime, they're waiting on more information from Ohio and West Virginia authorities.

Littleton was questioned again this afternoon for more precise clues that may lead to finding the Russells.

[UPDATE] 2/25 at 6:08 p.m. by Gabrielle Sarann --

The search continues in south Georgia for the bodies of a missing Ohio couple.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says they're continuing to search for the remains of Gladis and Richard Russell.

Their mission over the weekend is scaled down to a few deputies double checking various areas.

They suspend their search at nightfall.


UPDATE 2-25 4:00pm

LCSO Press Release --

Samuel Littleton II, the suspect in the murder of an Ohio woman and an elderly Ohio couple, was apprehended Wednesday, February 23, 2011 in Princeton, West Virginia. The vehicle being driven by Littleton, which belonged to a missing elderly Ohio couple, was found abandoned near the location of Littleton’s arrest. Tiffany Brown was discovered stabbed to death in the basement of the Ohio house Littleton shared with her mother. Littleton was wanted on four felony counts: murder, felonious assault, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Littleton knew the Russell’s because they sold him the house in which Brown's body was found, police said.

Littleton was arrested in the stabbing death of Tiffany Brown, 26, of Bellefontaine, Ohio and is sought for questioning in the disappearance of Richard Russell, 84, and his wife Gladis, 85, who were reported missing from Logan County, Ohio. West Virginia police did not locate the couple.

During questioning with Samuel Littleton, police in West Virginia learned that Littleton claimed to have discarded the bodies of Richard Russell and Gladis Russell in Georgia, specifically in Lowndes County while driving through the area in route to Florida.

A local Investigation confirmed that Samuel Littleton was in the Valdosta area on February 18. For how long and when he left the area is unknown. An extensive search was conducted, and is on-going, utilizing resources from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, Valdosta Police Department, Hahira Police Department, CSX Railroad Police and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Police.

During the time that he was in the Valdosta area he was driving a gray and green 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis with an Ohio license plate. Citizens who may have had contact with Samuel Littleton or have information related to the case are urged to call the Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950.


Lowndes County, Georgia --

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for the discarded bodies of an elderly couple. Suspect Samuel Littleton confessed to killing the couple and dumping the bodies after being arrested in Princeton, West Virginia. Littleton confessed to killing Gladys Russell, 84, and Richard Russell, 85 from Ohio. He also confessed to the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend’s daughter, Tiffany Brown, 26. Littleton was in the Valdosta area around Feb. 18. Littleton confessed to dumping the bodies of the elderly couple in Lowndes County, prompting LCSO to begin searching for the bodies. No other information has been released at this time.

Eyewitness News has a reporter covering the search with deputies. Stay with WCTV for update.

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