|1990 Local Murder Is Now On GBI Website|
An unsolved murder from 1990 is gaining statewide attention as the GBI features the Chattooga County crime on its website.
Christy Stephens, then a 13-year-old Summerville Middle School student, stayed home from school on Oct. 1, 1990, complaining of a sore throat.
Her parents later discovered that she was missing and the only thing left behind was a pair of tennis shoes at the end the driveway. The last time they saw Christy was about 7 a.m. that morning.
Sheriff’s officials began investigating intently on the east side of Taylor Ridge after Stephens did not return home for a couple of days. Then on Oct. 22, a Marietta man hunting in the woods off Farmersville Road found the teen’s partially hidden body under brush. She was found about two miles away from her house.
The body was so badly decomposed that GBI pathologists could not determine how she died. The Sheriff at the time, Gary McConnell, said he thought Stephens was killed elsewhere and then brought into the woods where she was discovered.
Last week the GBI contacted Christy’s father Tommy Cuzzort and said they were going to list the unsolved murder case on their website (http://gbi.georgia.gov). It’s now featured under the tab “Unsolved Cases.”
“I got a call from (GBI Special Agent) Joe Montgomery. . . He called and left me a message on my phone that they have put Christy’s picture and information on their website,” Cuzzort said.
The GBI is not the only agency interested in the case. Chattooga County Chief Sheriff’s Investigator Larry Kellett has some plans of his own.
Kellett has followed the case for years and knows the sheriff’s office still has some tissue swabs from Stephens’ body. Kellett wants to submit those swabs for DNA analysis.
“Back then all they could do is test for blood type. Now it is possible that they can get some DNA if there is anything there,” Inv. Kellett said. “We’ve got some swabs and some slides. There were several that we are trying to get resubmitted to the crime lab for testing.”
As DNA testing procedures have grown over the years, more crimes are being solved. Kellett hopes this is such a case.
“We are going to put it on the front burner once we can get settled in more,” Inv. Kellett said.
Christy’s father, who lives in Alabama, has been making special trips to Chattooga County since her death. He’s been looking for answers about her death all these years.
“It’s been hard on me,” Cuzzort said.
Article Courtsey of The Summerville News