Several persons of interest in law student's death

Macon police have several persons of interest in the slaying of popular law student, but have not yet linked anyone to the crime.

Police Chief Mike Burns confirmed Wednesday that the remains found outside Lauren Giddings' apartment belonged to the recent Mercer University law school graduate. Giddings, 27, who also attended Agnes Scott, was preparing to the take the bar exam when she was reported missing.

Giddings was last seen June 25. Five days later, a friend filed a missing person report and within hours, remains were found outside Giddings' Barristers Hall apartment.

Giddings' body was dismembered, making the initial identification difficult, police said. But DNA samples, sent to the FBI Crime Lab in Virginia, confirmed the remains belong to Giddings, Burns said. The cause of death has not yet been identified.

The search continued Wednesday for the woman's additional remains, Jami Gaudet, police spokeswoman told the AJC.

The investigators' focus has been the apartment Giddings' rented, a popular complex for law students due to its proximity to the campus. But the search for clues has extended to a 7-10 block radius around the apartment, Gaudet said.

Officers are currently interviewing those who knew Giddings, a popular student involved in a variety of activities, such as running.

“What we’re trying to do is get statements from anyone who had a connection with her," Gaudet said.

Police have charged one of Giddings' neighbors with burglary for two unrelated crimes. Stephen McDaniel, a law school classmate of Giddings, is being held at the Bibb County jail. He has not been named a suspect in Giddings' death.

At Mercer, Giddings served as president of the Federalist Society and participated in the Association of Women Law Students. Giddings played softball while studying at Agnes Scott. She graduated from the Decatur college in 2006.

Before starting law school, Giddings worked just over a year as a project assistant in the discovery center for King and Spalding's Atlanta office, Les Zuke, spokesman for the firm, told the AJC.

Giddings' death is the fourth homicide reported in Macon this year, Gaudet said. Homicides, particularly one so gruesome, are not very typical in the central Georgia town, which has four colleges.

"This is not that kind of town," Gaudet said.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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