March 20, 2014
Lowndes County, GA - "We originally received the email as an anonymous tip back on January 27th. The email identified specific persons who the email alleged had information about the case and may have participated in the case" says Lt. Stryde Jones, with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
Jones says the Lowndes County District Attorney's Office subpoenaed Mediacom for information on who sent the email. In the mean time, they interviewed those who were named.
"We went and interviewed those persons and at that time, found that a lot of the information contained in the email was not truely factual", says Jones.
Many are wondering why the Sheriff's Office was involved in the investigation, since the case was turned over to the U.S Attorney's office back in October.
"This case is sort of unusual because typically either the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department or the U.S Attorney's Office handles a case, but the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office like any good agency is going to follow up on any new leads that it gets. Although a case may be closed, if they get additional information, they're going to follow up on it", says Brad Shealy, Assistant District Attorney for Lowndes County.
Shealy says if the evidence had been credible it would have been passed to the U.S Attorney's Office, but in this case, it was not.
"We identified the source of the email yesterday. We went and interviewed that person last night and what we found was they admitted they sent the email but did it out of a genuine interest in the case", says Jones. "This was information they had heard. Nothing first hand. All rumors and speculation."
Jones says following any lead is a time consuming process, especially when you have to file a subpoena, but they welcome any tips and information from the community on all cases.