The search for a missing Georgia girl ended Wednesday after authorities found her buried in a rural area. The man accused of killing her remains at large.
According to the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, authorities likely found the body of 21-year-old Hannah Bender buried in a shallow grave in Forsyth County, Georgia. A tipster helped lead authorities to a shallow grave off Parks Road near Ga. 306, where they discovered her body in a wooded area.
An official confirmation on the identity is pending autopsy results.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are searching for 22-year-old Austin Todd Stryker in connection with Bender’s death. Authorities said the relationship between the pair remains unclear. However, this was not a random crime, and the pair did know each other, police said.
According to the West Virginia State Police, Stryker was last seen in Clay County, West Virginia, wearing blue jeans and a maroon shirt. He could possibly be with 78-year-old Jerry Harper, who’s a person of interest in the case.
Stryker is described as a white male who stands 5-feet-9-inches tall and weighs around 150 pounds. He has blonde hair. He may be driving a white 2000 Ford Explorer. Authorities initially said Stryker may be in a black Ford pickup truck, but the vehicle has since been found.
Stryker’s fiancee, Elizabeth Donaldson, was arrested in Dawson County in connection with Bender’s death. According to Dawson County court documents, she’s been charged with tampering with evidence, although additional charges could follow.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-974-6824.
The story is developing. Check back for further details.
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[Feature Photo: Hannah Bender/Facebook]