The police have not described a motive in the killing. (Representational)
The man whom a Georgia college student reported for unwanted kissing and touching before she went missing has been charged in her murder, along with the student’s roommate, police said Saturday.
Barron Brantley and his girlfriend, Jordyn Jones, both 21, are in custody after one of them led investigators to the body of 21-year-old Alexis Crawford in a Georgia park on Friday, according to the Atlanta Police Department. A medical examiner determined that Crawford died of asphyxiation.
Friday’s discovery gave “one of the saddest conclusions possible” to the search for the Clark Atlanta University student, who was reported missing Nov. 1, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told reporters.
“I am so truly sorry that we could not provide you with a better ending,” Shields said after Crawford’s body was found.
Police have not described a motive in the killing.
Brantley’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an inquiry Saturday, and The Washington Post was unable to reach an attorney for Jones.
Days before she went missing, on Oct. 27, Crawford told authorities that Brantley had rubbed her shoulder with his hand and kissed her on the neck as they drank together, according to a police report. Brantley told her that he thought Crawford was his girlfriend Jones, Crawford told police.
Crawford said she entered a restroom by herself after Brantley followed her to her room, according to the report.
Jones told police that she found Crawford locked inside the bathroom wearing only a bra, the report states. It’s unclear exactly when Jones found her roommate. The Oct. 27 report said authorities also recovered a “pair of cut panties” in the restroom.
According to the report, Jones recalled Crawford saying she’d passed out and was unsure what happened. Crawford said she did not remember Brantley being in the bathroom with her, according to the report. Brantley said he didn’t have sex with Crawford, Jones told police.
Crawford was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta for examination with a rape kit, the police report said.
After Crawford’s disappearance, Jones told investigators that she was not “on speaking terms” with her roommate due to a “separate incident” that is not detailed, according to a missing-person report. The report also references an unspecified “separate incident” that occurred on Oct. 26, noting that friends said Crawford hadn’t been comfortable sleeping in her bedroom and had moved to the living room since that day.
Family members said they last heard from Crawford on Oct. 30, police documents state. Crawford’s mom said her daughter was laughing and “in good spirits” in their last conversation via FaceTime.
On Monday, family gathered at Atlanta police headquarters to plead for the community’s help finding Crawford – a young woman from Athens, Georgia, “who’s got her whole life ahead of her,” community leader the Rev. Markel Hutchins said at the tearful news conference.
“Come home, I love you,” Crawford’s father said in an emotional address to his daughter, shaking his head.
Either Jones or Brantley – police have not specified who – eventually took police to Crawford’s body in DeKalb County. Brantley, charged Friday, and Jones, charged Saturday, have been taken to Fulton County jail for booking, police said.
Brantley has also been charged with hindering a person making an emergency telephone call and violating probation stemming from family battery, cruelty to children and theft, jail records show.
The Fulton County district attorney did not immediately provide further details on the charges.
The president of Clark Atlanta University, George French Jr., said in a statement Friday that investigators consider Crawford’s death an “isolated, off-campus incident” and that “there was never a threat to any other members of the community.”
“Tonight, we mourn together,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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