Valdosta Police Lt. Bobbi McGraw said Jonathan Barrett, 21, is charged with the murder of 17-year-old Brittany Wade.Valdosta police also questioned “a person of interest” Thursday night in an unrelated afternoon shooting death of another young woman.
Wade’s body was discovered in a shallow grave at 1029 Bunche St., where the suspect’s aunt resides.
The victim did not live at the residence.
Barrett was apprehended within hours of the discovery of Wade’s body. He was charged with murder and transported to Lowndes County Jail after Valdosta police and detectives questioned him Wednesday evening.
McGraw said that Wade’s body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
At this time, the cause of death is not known; however, the victim did have trauma to her body, McGraw said. It appears that the victim died the night before her body was discovered.
The exact time of death will be determined after the autopsy report returns.
Barrett was a former acquaintance of the victim. He is also the father of Wade’s two children.
The 20-year-old woman was alive at approximately 4:30 p.m., when emergency responders left the scene of the Tyndall Drive residence, said Valdosta Police Lt. Bobbi McGraw. The woman was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. McGraw reported her death to The Valdosta Daily Times at approximately 5:40 p.m.
Police were officially still working this case as a suspicious death Thursday evening. The woman’s identity was being withheld pending notification of all family members.
Investigators reported the woman as being shot in her torso. People at the scene and police conversation noted the woman was shot in the throat.
Authorities were questioning a black male, believed to be in a relationship with the woman.
Prior to his being taken into custody, police were searching for a man described as wearing gray boxers and no shirt, or gray boxers and a gray shirt. He was also reportedly covered in blood.
The incident happened at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday at a duplex-style townhouse at 3126 Tyndall Drive. Authorities found a young black woman shot inside the residence. Emergency-medical personnel reportedly did not have room to treat her inside the residence. She was removed from the townhouse and taken by ambulance to an area hospital.