A 54-year-old Augusta man confessed to last year's fatal shooting of his mother.
Tom Edwin Chumley, 54, of the 300 block of Angela Street, Augusta, came to the Columbia County Detention Center on March 28 and asked to speak to someone, Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle said during a Monday news conference Monday.
Whittle said that although Chumley was somewhat evasive while talking to investigators, he did confess to killing his 74-year-old mother, Meridith Guy, who was found dead in her Martinez home Feb. 28, 2003.
Of the county's unsolved murders, the most recent dates to 1992.
"Our murder rate is extremely low, thank goodness," Whittle said. "One murder is as important to us as 50 murders."
A relative discovered Guy, who was a longtime waitress at Ruth's Family Restaurant in Martinez, on the floor of her home at 309 Twin Lakes Drive in Martinez.
An autopsy found that Guy died from two gunshots to the back of her head and upper back. No weapon or motive have been uncovered, but investigators believe Chumley acted alone.
"Mr. Chumley was a suspect in the first days of the original investigation and has not been taken off the list," Whittle said. "He has been the prime suspect ever since."
Only two weeks before his confession, Richmond County authorities reported finding Chumley suicidal and making threats against a relative.
On March 15, Chumley was arrested for threatening the life of his father-in-law.
According to the Richmond County report, Chumley had overdosed on an unknown medication before deputies found him sitting in a chair with a gun in one hand and a drink in the other.
After about an hour, deputies were able to retrieve the gun, at which time Chumley said he was going to shoot and kill his father-in-law when he is released, the report stated.
Chumley was admitted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
He is now being held at the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, Whittle said.
Other Columbia County unsolved homicides:
1992: Faxton Lamar Powell Jr., 29, was found Sept. 27 lying beside Wrightsboro Road near Pumpkin Center with a .45-caliber gunshot wound to his abdomen. No weapon was found.
1987: Wanda Huggins, 27, of Newborn, Ga., was found Dec. 31 near Pollards Corner on the side of Scott's Ferry Road with several small-caliber gunshot wounds to her head.
1987: Nineteen-year-old Becky Annette Minish of Evans has been missing since St. Patrick's Day 1987. Her car was found abandoned and damaged days later on Bobby Jones Expressway. Officially, she is considered a missing person, but investigators say she is presumed to be dead.
1984: H. Monty McAvoy, was found in his mobile home at Thurmond Lake with a gunshot to the back of his head. Police found $300 in his wallet and ruled out robbery. There were suspects, but no one was charged.
1978: Craig Fallaw, 34, was shot to death Oct. 8 while he worked as a security guard at West Lake subdivision. A murder weapon was found in 1982, but a link to an assailant was never made.
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