Body found in car in Newton County identified as missing woman

The woman's body was found Monday inside a car along I-20 in Newton County.

Credit: Newton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Newton County Sheriff's Office

The woman's body was found Monday inside a car along I-20 in Newton County.

The body found inside a car along I-20 in Newton County this week has been confirmed as a mother who went missing earlier this month, the sheriff’s office said.

On Monday afternoon, Georgia State Patrol troopers responded to the scene when GBI agents located a 2020 black Chevrolet Impala that had “some similarities” to the car belonging to 53-year-old Yolanda Brown, the Newton sheriff’s office said. The body was located inside the vehicle, but authorities did not say how long it had been there.

“The body located in the vehicle was positively identified as a Yolanda Brown and next of kin has been notified,” sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Jack Redlinger said.

In a statement released by the family’s attorney, Mawuli Davis said the family is thankful law enforcement was able to locate Brown but they are heartbroken she is gone.

“This is not the outcome they were hoping for, yet the family is grateful for the community support and outpouring of love they have received during this difficult time,” Davis said. “The family asks for your continued prayers and privacy while the investigation into the cause of her death is conducted.”

Before the vehicle was found, authorities had been unable to locate Brown or her vehicle, and calls to her cellphone went unanswered, her son Joshua Doughty said. Newton deputies began searching last week and eventually called in the assistance of the GBI, the state patrol and the state patrol’s helicopter unit.

Brown was reported missing after she left her Covington home the night of Sept. 2 and did not return. She was last seen on surveillance footage at the Irish Bred Pub in Hapeville, where her family said she was a regular.

On Tuesday, Redlinger said the GBI will perform an autopsy on the victim and process the wrecked vehicle.

Footage from NewsChopper2 of Monday’s scene showed a crumpled, dark-colored sedan partially obscured by a line of trees about 15 yards from the westbound shoulder, not far from Alcovy Road. A wrecker and several law enforcement vehicles could also be seen for several hours after the vehicle was discovered about 2:30 p.m.

Authorities have not confirmed if foul play is suspected in Brown’s death. Surveillance footage from the bar, obtained by Channel 2, showed her speaking with two men in the parking lot before getting into her car with one man and spending about two hours there.

That man then got into his own SUV and followed Brown’s Impala out of the parking lot, according to the news station. Doughty, who lived with Brown, filed a missing person report with Hapeville police one day later after he couldn’t get in touch with her.

*** MISSING PERSON *** Yolanda Brown left her home in Covington on Friday, September 2, 2022, and has not returned....

Posted by Newton County, GA Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Brown previously lived in Hapeville and drove there once or twice a month to visit the pub and meet with a former coworker, one of the men seen on the surveillance video, Doughty said.

The second man, who can be seen following her in the SUV, was described by her son as another regular at the bar. Doughty said Brown may have been acquainted with that man, who has not been named by authorities and has no known connection to her disappearance.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Simmons with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office at 678-625-1453.