Mother kills son, commits suicide
The granddaughter and great-grandson of former Columbia County Sheriff Edward Tankersley died Thursday in what authorities say was a murder-suicide in Appling.
Nancy Tankersley Anderson, 56, and Robert Anderson, 24, were pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m. by Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison, said Coroner Vernon Collins.
Both bodies were found in a rear bedroom of a home at 6461 Washington Road, about two miles west of Pollard's Corner, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. The home is owned by Anderson's father, Robert Tankersley, Collins said. Tankersley is the son of former Sheriff Tankersley, who died in 1986.
Robert Tankersley called the sheriff's office when he was awakened shortly after 3 a.m. after hearing "four or five gunshots" and then finding the bodies of his daughter and grandson in a rear bedroom, Morris said.
Responding deputies found Robert Anderson's body in a bed with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds to the head, while Nancy Anderson was dead from what appeared to be a single gunshot wound, Collins said. A .38-caliber Taurus handgun was recovered from the scene, Morris said.
Both bodies were taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta for autopsies, Collins said.
Describing a possible motive for the suspected murder-suicide, Collins said Nancy Anderson left a two-page letter, dated Wednesday, explaining that she had decided to take her son's life and her own because of his mounting debts from fines and probation. The letter included detailed plans for their funerals, Collins added.
Morris said Robert Anderson had a criminal history that included drug violations and bad-check charges.
Stolen vehicle, car break-ins reported
A Martinez man called police Wednesday after someone stole his truck, which was parked in front of his home.
The 53-year-old said that his 2004 Toyota Tundra was taken sometime between 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10:15 a.m. Wednesday from the 400 block of Santa Anna Trail. His vehicle was locked at the time it was stolen.
A witness said that she saw someone driving the truck early Wednesday in the direction of Carson Cutoff.
Two other vehicles on the 400 block of Santa Anna Trail were broken into.
Three vehicles on the 3000 block of Carson Cutoff, which is located next to Santa Anna Trail, also were entered without permission during the same time period. An iPod was reported missing from an unlocked Ford F-150.
Water fountain destroyed at Martinez church
An employee of a Martinez church called police Tuesday after she noticed the water fountain in front of the Church of Christ was destroyed.
The 45-year-old said that someone pushed over the water fountain, demolishing it. The incident happened at the church on Old Petersburg Road sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The fountain was worth about $8,000.
Items stolen from vehicle at Evans High School
An Evans High School student told police Tuesday that someone stole items from his vehicle while it was parked at Evans High during school hours.
The 17-year-old notified police at about 3 p.m. when he saw that his Apple iPod, $200 in cash, and gift cards totaling $55 were missing. The student's vehicle was not locked at the time of the incident.
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