Brittany Ledford and Rebecca Stokes
Two charged with murder in Towns County
By Charles Duncan
July 12, 2013 - Towns County sheriff's investigators and special agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have recovered what they believe to be the remains of 53-year-old Diane “Dee Dee” Adams-Donaldson, according to a release from the Towns County Sheriff's Office.
The remains were recovered approximately at 7 p.m. on Thursday from a hand-dug well at an old home off Hooper Branch Road, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Two Hiawassee women, 21-year-old Brittany Elizabeth Ledford, and 32-year-old Rebecca Ann Stokes, have been charged with murder, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Towns County Coroner Tashina Eller was at the crime scene and remained there until the body was recovered at approximately 7 p.m. After taking charge of the body and pronouncing death, Eller made arrangements to have the remains taken to the GBI Crime Lab for positive identification, according to the Towns County Coroner's Office.
Adams-Donaldson was reported missing on June 24th by family members. The Criminal Investigations arm of the Towns County Sheriff's Office launched an immediate inquiry and began a missing person investigation. Investigators placed Adams-Donaldson's physical information on state and national databases and investigators began to follow leads. The ongoing investigation included obtaining cell phone records and dissemination of flyers, as well as interviewing multiple witnesses in two states.
On Wednesday, July 10th, Sheriff’s investigators simultaneously acted on two separate leads, one involving a possible location of Adams-Donaldson, and one involving the need to interview a possible witness. Deputies discovered what appeared to be human remains in a well in an area east of Hiawassee, and Sheriff’s investigators were able to obtain a confession from Ledford and Stokes, who were already in custody in the Towns County Detention Center on unrelated charges.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton and Chief Deputy Jeff Edge arrived at the scene on Hooper Branch Road where deputies had discovered what appeared to be human remains. Once this was confirmed, Sheriff Clinton requested the Crime Scene Technician from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 8 office in Cleveland.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad Parks sent a Crime Scene Technician as well as several agents who assisted in conducting further interviews. Agent Parks also traveled to Towns County to provide assistance.
Sheriff’s Office Investigators, assisted by GBI agents, conducted interviews with possible witnesses late into the night of July 10th, and Sheriff’s Office deputies were assigned to secure two separate crime scenes. GBI Crime Scene technicians and Sheriff’s deputies conducted initial inspection of the well on Hooper Branch Road and surrounding area and plans were made to begin an excavation adjacent to the well. Because of the proximity of the well to a house and the need to preserve evidence, the task of recovering the body required many hours and much manpower and equipment.
Sheriff Clinton and investigators were on site during the interviewing of witnesses until approximately midnight on July 10th, and then on site at the crime scenes until the remains were recovered at approximately 7 p.m. Thursday.
Ledford and Stokes remain in the Towns County Detention Center.
The remains was taken to the GBI Crime Lab for positive identification. More details will be released as soon as they becomes available.