The following is a press release issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office:
On August 22, 1997 at about 2PM, Georgia’s body was found next to the Highway 101 southbound on-ramp at Petaluma Boulevard South. She didn’t match any missing persons reports and her body was badly decomposed. We began our investigation by collecting evidence, trying to determine her identity, conducting an autopsy, and releasing information to the public.
On August 25, Santa Rosa Police Department received information from an anonymous person that Georgia had been missing for two weeks. They took a report and issued a flyer to local law enforcement agencies with a description of Georgia. The detective in charge of Georgia’s case saw the flyer and noticed it matched the description of the body found three days earlier.
The body was identified as Georgia on August 26. Through the death investigation and autopsy, we determined Georgia died of asphyxia by being strangled or smothered. Through forensic evidence, we determined she died sometime between the night of August 13 and early morning of August 14.
We issued information to the public as part of our initial investigation, including Georgia’s last known location and a sketch of a man who was a person of interest. We asked for the public’s help and issued a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer(s). Detectives continued to investigate her death by re-examining evidence as new technologies became available. Detectives have followed up on every lead submitted over the years, yet her case is unsolved.
We do our best to find justice for every violent crime victim and all their families. We are again asking for the community’s help.
Georgia was last seen at approximately 10 PM on Wednesday, August 13, 1997 near the intersection of Sebastopol Road and Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa. She was a 12-year-old black girl, 5’4” and approximately 120 pounds, with shoulder length braided black hair. She was last seen wearing a white shirt with a white nylon windbreaker and blue jeans. She was last seen with a 25-30 year old black man, approximately 6’2” to 6’4” and 200 pounds, with very short black hair. He was driving a small white four-door car. This man is a person of interest whom we have not been able to identify; his sketch is posted below.
If you have any information about Georgia’s murder, please call 707-565-2185 or submit a tip at www.sonomasheriff.org/silent-witness. A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by the Sonoma County Alliance Community Engagement and Safety Rewards Fund. This reward is for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in Georgia’s murder.