Two women were shot dead after being suspected as thieves. Their bodies were later thrown over a bridge. The three men suspected for their murder have recently been charged with murder.
A Georgia Department of Transportation work crew discovered the bodies of two half-sisters—18-year-old Vanita Richardson and 30-year-old Truvenia Cambell—under a bridge in Rome, Georgia, on May 13, 2020, according to WSB-TV.
Both women had tattered clothing and bags tied around their heads. Police later discovered Richardson’s car, a gold 1997 Toyota Corolla, had been set on fire in the woods.
Three men were arrested as suspects and charged with murder in connection with the women’s deaths. The men are 36-year-old Devon Watts, 23-year-old Christopher Pullen and 28-year-old Desmond Brown.
Police said the three men mistakenly thought that the women had stolen Brown’s wallet during a house party in Alabama. The men then lured the women into Brown’s car, a Volkswagen, before confronting the women during the journey back to Rome, Georgia—18 miles east of the Alabama border.
At some point during the car ride, the men ordered the women to exit the vehicle. Brown then searched them at gunpoint, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Campbell fought back against the search and was shot three times. The gunman then shot Richardson twice.
The three men blamed each other for the women’s deaths, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent Ghee Wilson said during a late 2020 court hearing. All three men were members of the Bloods gang, a primarily Black street gang that has existed since 1972.
Wilson said the men placed the women’s bodies in the trunk of Brown’s vehicle before dumping the bodies over the bridge. Police later discovered the women’s DNA in the car’s trunk.
While transporting the women’s bodies, the men stopped their vehicles to purchase three pairs of gloves and sell synthetic marijuana, security camera footage reportedly showed.
Brown’s mother reportedly called him the next morning to tell him that she had found his wallet behind her television.
Pullen, who said he was in the car with Brown when his mother called, said that Brown became “erratic” at the news, stating, “I just got two bodies for nothing,” the Rome News-Tribune reported.
Richardson was a senior at Armuchee High School at the time of her murder. It’s unclear how the two murdered women were acquainted with their alleged attackers.
Several other individuals connected to the suspected murderers have been charged for allegedly making false statements to investigators.
Newsweek contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for comment.