The Newton County coroner on Thursday confirmed that Shanequa Sullivan, an Atlanta airport employee whose body was found in a river nearly 40 miles from her job, died of “homicidal violence” before she was dumped.
But exactly how Sullivan was killed has not been released.
It’s yet another mystery in the months-long investigation into the 23-year-old’s death, which family members suspected involved foul play.
“I want justice. I want them to find out the person or persons who are responsible for the demise of my granddaughter,” Sylesta Seabrum told AJC.com in a previous interview. “She wouldn’t harm anyone. She didn’t have a fighting bone in her body.”
Sullivan, who had autism, was reported missing Feb. 4. A month passed before a fisherman found her in the Yellow River. She was wearing clothes different than those she was last seen in. Sullivan worked for ABM Janitorial Services, a contractor at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, for at least a year.
Loved ones described her as a “creature of habit.”
Sullivan left work about 3:30 p.m. the day she disappeared and was last seen entering MARTA at the airport. Sullivan typically rode the train to College Park or East Point and transferred to a bus that took her to her Forest Park home.
But Sullivan’s family said MARTA officials had no record of her swiping her card to access the trains and had no record of her on camera after she left the station.
Further complicating the case was missing surveillance footage from Atlanta police.
In late March, Atlanta police launched an internal investigation after they admitted they failed to follow proper protocol in preserving the footage that showed Sullivan leaving her job. The investigation is still open, police confirmed Thursday.
Footage owned by the department that is not part of an active investigation is held for 14 days before it is recycled, Atlanta police said. While some video of Sullivan was recovered, it does not track all of her movements. Airport surveillance, however, is held for 28 days and then purged and recycled, an airport spokesman previously told AJC.com.
The investigation remains open.
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