Authorities in Georgia are investigating the disturbing deaths of two sisters whose bodies were found Wednesday morning under a highway bridge with bags over their heads.
Early Wednesday morning, Georgia Department of Transportation workers found the two bodies under the Etowah Bridge near Rome in Floyd County, near the south bank of the Etowah River, the Rome News-Tribune was first to report.
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The women were identified as 19-year-old Vanita Richardson, and 30-year-old Truvenia Campbell, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a release.
The two sisters were “apparently dropped over the bridge,” GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Johnston told the News-Tribune.
Their clothes were “tattered” and spent shotgun shell casings were found near their bodies, the Rome News-Tribune reports.
They were found in an underpass at Loop 1 at Etowah Bridge, the GBI says in the release.
911 calls about the grisly discovery started coming in at about 11 a.m., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Police are investigating motive as well as how long the women were at the bridge, local station 11 Alive reports.
The manner of death has been determined to be homicide. The medical examiner has not yet released the cause of death, the GBI said in the release.
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The chilling deaths left the sisters’ loved ones reeling.
“She was like my sister,” Campbell’s childhood friend Kayla Dodson told 11 Alive. “She was a loving, caring person. I’m just heartbroken.”
When she found out that her longtime friend and her younger sister had been killed, “I was all in tears,” Dodson said. “I couldn’t sleep hardly because me and her were really close.”
The family is devastated, she says.
“They’re really upset,” she says. “It’s just a really hard time for them.”
“Everybody is just sad,” she adds. “They’re just mulling over her death because [Campbell] was really well known in Rome.”
Campbell’s younger sister, Richardson, was a high school senior who was planning to graduate from Armuchee High School this weekend.
“Vanita will be remembered for being a fun-loving, humble, and motivated student who was making strong plans for her future,” Floyd County Schools wrote on Twitter.
The GBI says in its release, “If you were traveling in that area and saw anything suspicious between Tuesday @ 10:30 PM & Wednesday @ 11 AM, investigators need your help. Please contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477) with any information pertinent to the investigation.”