One arrest has been made but more suspects are believed responsible for a 2012 death of 18-year-old Vanessa “Honey” Malone, DeKalb County police said Saturday.
“We do believe that multiple people are responsible for this crime, and the investigation is ongoing,” Sgt. L. Shuler said outside police headquarters. “We hope more arrests will follow.”
Shuler, the lead detective in the case, said officers have spent hundreds of hours investigating the case. Evidence examined by the GBI crime lab helped lead investigators to an arrest, he said.
Donald Ashe, 34, was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Friday at his mother’s Stone Mountain home and was being held Monday at the DeKalb jail, according to police. He was charged with malice murder and making false statements.
MURDER ARREST: At approximately 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, 2020, the DeKalb County PD arrested 34-year-old Donald Ash for the murder of Vanessa “Honey” Malone. “Honey” was fatally shot on October 23, 2012 when she entered a friend’s apartment in Stone Mountain. (1/2)
— DeKalb County Police Department (@DeKalbCountyPD) April 3, 2020
“The DeKalb County police department is extremely gratified to be able to bring some small amount of closure to the Malone family, and hope they can have some peace with this,” Shuler said.
Malone died in October 2012, when investigators believe she interrupted an armed robbery. Her death sparked an outcry on social media, including on Facebook where 137,000 people are part of a “Justice for Honey” group. And last month, the case was featured on “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Late Friday, Malone’s mother posted on Facebook that was pleased with the arrest and hopes others come forward.
“You still have time to do the right thing and speak up,” the post said. “I am just saying it would make you feel better and help get ALL those involved arrested.”
On Oct. 23, 2012, Malone apparently interrupted three to six armed robbers who had tied up two residents and put them in a bathroom in an apartment, according to a DeKalb police incident report.
The couple told police they were in bed at the time the black-clad men armed with handguns and shotguns stormed into their apartment at the Hampton Village Apartments on Tree Mountain Parkway.
The man said the intruders took his wallet, tied up the couple and placed them in a bathtub in the rear of the apartment. The woman told police that shortly thereafter, she heard Malone enter the apartment, heard her screams and then heard several shots.
When police arrived, they found the couple outside the apartment and Malone inside “unconscious and not breathing, lying on her right side with several gunshot wounds to the body.” Malone died at the scene.