Georgia law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects involved in the tragic death of two stepsisters, Truvenia Campbell, 31, and Vanita Richardson, 19.
Last Wednesday the young women’s bodies were found near the banks of the Etowah River beneath a bridge located in Rome, Georgia. An autopsy revealed the victims deaths were ruled a homicide, according to a press release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
“They had bags over their heads at the time” at the time of discovery, GBI Special Agent Joe Montgomery told reporters. “They’d obviously been dropped from the bridge.” A report from local outlet Rome News-Tribune reported that shotgun shells were also located near their bodies.
Authorities from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation believe the crime was carried out by at least two people, but have yet to make any leads. Police believe the women were last seen together driving Richardson’s 1997 gold Toyota Camry, Georgia tag, RTJ 6295, and want to locate the vehicle’s whereabouts.
The investigation began after workers from the Georgia Department of Transportation came upon the bodies on Wednesday morning. Investigators are looking for anyone who may have traveled in the area between 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Community members reflect back on their lives, which were taken so viciously. Richardson was gearing up to graduate from Armuchee High School in Rome, where her classmates and teachers said she had a fun-loving infectious personality.
“Vanita will be remembered for being a fun-loving, humble, and motivated student who was making strong plans for her future,” a statement from the district said. “Even throughout the school closures, Vanita’s passing is felt by all. In particular, the staff members whose lives she touched with her caring personality and big heart.”
A close friend of Campbell’s who spoke with WMAZ said she was “heartbroken” over the unforeseen tragedy.
Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call the GBI tipline at 1-800-597-8477.