Based on Stephen McDaniel's arrest warrant, we're learning new details about what led to police charge him with murder. The warrant asserts that McDaniel killed and dismembered Lauren Giddings' body. It says he had a key to her apartment and a key that unlocked every door in the apartment complex on Georgia Avenue, where both Giddings and McDaniel lived.
Police also say in McDaniel's murder arrest warrant, that they found a hacksaw locked in a storage closet at the apartment complex. When the FBI tested the hacksaw blade, they found Giddings' DNA.
A package for the same Stanley brand hacksaw was found in McDaniel's apartment.
Police also indicated in the arrest warrant that McDaniel had previously commented that he could commit murder and avoid detection. They say his story and the circumstances of this case are similar.
Stephen McDaniel was charged with murder Tuesday night for killing his former Mercer Law classmate, 27-year old Lauren Giddings. McDaniel is expected back in court on August 17th.
Some relief came for Lauren Giddings family as a suspect was named in their daughters murder. On Wednesday, Macon Police Chief Mike Burns and Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters held a news conference to talk about the latest in this investigation, a day after Stephen McDaniel was charged with felony murder. McDaniel is no longer a person of interest, but a suspect in the murder of Lauren Giddings.
"Just because we made an arrest in the investigation, doesn't mean it's over. We'll keep investigating until the day it goes to trial," said Chief Mike Burns, Macon Police.
Burns is confident they've found their killer after five weeks of searching.
It was a brief meeting between the Bibb County Magistrate and 25-year-old McDaniel Tuesday as he appeared expressionless.
"We had to eliminate all our persons of interest; as we checked their alibis, they were eliminated one by one," explained Burns.
Police have searched more than 200 pieces of evidence, most of which was found at the Barristers Hall apartment complex on Georgia Ave. in downtown Macon. Chief Burns says all of that evidence led them to one person, McDaniel.
Law enforcement remained tight-lipped throughout the investigation, but say it was by design.
"It was out of respect for Lauren's memory and to protect the integrity of our investigation," said Jamie Gaudet, Public Information Officer, Macon Police.
The department isn't giving in yet. Police won't comment on the evidence they have, whether a motive has been confirmed, or if we can expect more arrests in this case.
"Our concern at this point is also for the family--to find remains of her body--that's obviously something we would like," expressed Gregg Winters, Bibb County District Attorney.
The 27-year-old's family is relieved to know, the person who may be responsible for their real life nightmare is off the streets.
"It's just a step toward some sort of closure and it's not the end in any means, but it just feels right," said Kaitlyn Wheeler, Lauren's sister.
"We have such mixed emotion because of who it is being a classmate of hers and living near her just makes it even more horrific," said Karen Giddings, Lauren's mother.
Even after weeks of knowing her daughter won't be coming back, Lauren's mom deals with feelings of disbelief every passing day.
"I don't feel like it's real and I'm having a hard time conceiving it. It's not sinking into my mind. I wake up every morning thinking that I'm gonna wake up from a nightmare," explained Karen Giddings, Lauren's mother.
It's a nightmare, she says, that's just begun. Karen Giddings says she does believe a person is innocent until proven guilty and adds, her heart goes out to McDaniel's family.
Kaitlyn Wheeler and Karen Giddings stressed their gratitude to the Middle Georgia community. They said the thousands of cards and sincere words of sorrow have been a blessing in the midst of their tradegedy.
Lauren's funeral is Saturday back home in Maryland. The Giddings family is looking forward to celebrating their daughters short but full life.
The bond hearing set for McDaniel Thursday has been canceled. A trial date has not yet been determined.
McDaniel is in jail today as he faces felony murder, that means taking someone's life in the commission of a felony, according to the DA. Officials say more charges may come.
Wash Away Thirst, an initiative that began in Atlanta, is a campaign to bring nearly one billion people worldwide clean water. Now it's spreading from state-to-state, and up and down the east coast. Right here in Middle Georgia, one local car wash has joined the quest to quench thirst.
"Water is a precious commodity and we as a car wash are very cognizant of that and we use recall systems and recycle our water," says Al Baggarly, owner, Speed Wash.
Every car he washes helps Baggarly "Wash Away Thirst" worldwide. The initiative is simple, one cent from each car washed gives one day of water to one thirsty person.
"Every customer we have coming through here are contributing to this thing, in a different kind of way."
When Elisabeth Davies was born five years ago, she was a healthy baby girl with no medical problems.
Her brother Eddie was born a year later, his medical conditions, were unlike anything doctors have seen before.
"The doctors said he had features that were different, and they wanted to go ahead and do genetic testing on him," mother Carolina Davies said.
Eddie has something called Alfie's Syndrome, which means there is a deletion in his Number Nine chromosome.
"He has missing genetic material...at the age of four, he's at about the level of a 12 month old," Carolina explains.
Also known as '9P Minus', Eddie is a very loving, active four year old, who cannot walk or talk. But that doesn't mean he can't get around or let you know what he wants.
Carolina says he knows exactly what the word 'No' means, and he loves to meet new people.
But 9P Minus is a very rare disease. In fact, there are only about 250 people in the world with the condition. And very few doctors who know anything about it.
Eddie also has a condition known as 8Q Duplication. In Eddie's case, this means his eighth chromosome has duplicated itself three times. This condition is so rare, there are no books or literature about the duplication. Carolina says, they haven't been able to find anyone else in the world yet who has this same condition as Eddie.
But then, life threw another curveball at the Davies. Eddie's older sister Elisabeth, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was two years old. She is now a Type 1 diabetic.
"It can be crazy, it can be stressful," Carolina admits.
And most recently, Eddie began to have seizures. Elisabeth can pass out if her blood sugar is too low, and mom, wants a helping hand...or four.
Carolina says she and her husband wanted to get a service dog for both of their children when Eddie began to have seizures. The dog is trained by an organization called '4 Paws for Ability', so it can alert parents when something is not right with their children.
"It'll be a dog that detects seizures, does behavior disruption, because you have a lot of movements. So the dog will be there to calm him (Eddie) down," Carolina says.
But to get a dog will cost the Davies $13,000 to train. Money Carolina says, is more than worth fighting to find.
There are a few opportunities to help the Davies family to raise the money to get the specially trained dog. If you would like to help, there is a bake sale at the Galleria Mall in Warner Robins on August 13th at 12:30. Also, you can buy a raffle ticket from Oak Ridge Custom Finishing for a chance to win a gun.
To find more information about Eddie, Elisabeth, and the rest of the Davies family, you can read Eddie's Blog.