Devin Lashawn Watts (left), Desmond Lavonta Brown

2 men charged after women’s bodies found under Rome bridge

Two men have been arrested in connection with a double homicide investigation, a week after the bodies of two women were found under a northwest Georgia bridge. 

However, they have not been charged with killing 18-year-old Vanita Richardson and 31-year-old Truvenia Campbell, the GBI said in a news release Wednesday. Desmond Lavonta Brown, 28, was arrested Monday on a charge of obstruction of a police officer,  and Devin Lashawn Watts, 36, was taken into custody the next day on charges of theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Vanita Richardson (left), Truvenia Campbell
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

“These arrests were the results of search warrants executed on apartments and vehicles based on leads that were developed and tips received from the GBI Tip Line,” the agency said. 


 

Richardson and Campbell, both of Rome, were found dead under an overpass near the Etowah River on May 13.

The women’s bodies were “apparently dropped over the (Etowah) bridge” and left in the area of Wilbanks and Houston Mill roads, GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Johnston told the Rome News-Tribune.

A Georgia Department of Transportation crew found the bodies.
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

RELATED: ‘My world is gone’: Teen’s mother heartbroken after 2 bodies dropped off Rome bridge

A Georgia Department of Transportation crew performing maintenance on the bridge made the grisly discovery, according to a Rome police report. The first calls about the bodies came around 11 a.m. that day, Johnston said. 

Both women had bags tied over their heads when they were found, the police report said. 

Richardson was set to graduate from Armuchee High School in Rome on Saturday, Floyd County Schools confirmed.

“My world is gone,” Richardson’s mother Vanita Allen told Channel 2 Action News. “... I can’t believe what they did to my baby ... she wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

She described her daughter and Campbell as close friends and said Richardson had dreams of becoming a photographer. 

The GBI on Friday released information about Richardson’s car, a gold 1997 Toyota Corolla with Georgia license plate RTJ6295.


 

“The investigation has shown that both Vanita Richardson and Truvenia Campbell were in this vehicle during the evening hours of Tuesday, May 12, 2020,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a statement. “The vehicle’s location is not known at this time but investigators believe that it could be somewhere in the metro Atlanta area.” 

The GBI said Wednesday that its investigation “remains active and ongoing.”

Anyone who might have information about the case is asked to contact the GBI at 1-800-597-8477.

In other news: 

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