Middle Georgia Cold Cases: Latoya Berrian – Beaten and Burned

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Macon mother saw her daughter at work every week.It was a routine. They’d stop, talk, the mom would give her daughter a plate of food and they’d do it over again. One day that stopped.

18 years have passed and Tangelyn Berrian says what happened to her daughter still hurts.

If you knew her, you loved her.

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“She would give you the clothes off her back. That just was ‘Toya,” Berrian said.

She says her middle child was quiet and sweet and always looked after family.

“She always came to the fish house every Tuesday for her and her cousin and them,” Berrian said.



It was a routine Tangelyn came to appreciate until one December night in 1997. She got a call from relatives that she says gave her chills.

“Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around,” Berrian said.

“She was found beaten to death and placed on a pile of trash and set on fire,” Captain Jimmy Barbee with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said.

When investigators got to Railroad Avenue they trying to find clues or any piece of evidence they could, instead they found a fire still smoldering.

“Just thrown on trash pile like trash and murdered for no reason. No reason at all,” Barbee said.

“I don’t see how anybody could have hated her that much to kill her,” Berrian said.

Latoya was murdered in cold blood and Tangelyn is still heartbroken.

“If I wanted to get this hatred out of my heart. I had to forgive them,” Berrian said. “I cry mostly every night. I sleep with her picture by my bed. That’s something that’s going to be with me forever.”

Here’s what investigators know…

Latoya was last seen alive leaving the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on Highway 80 and Pio Nono Avenue in Macon with an unidentified man.

Because of the fire, clues were scarce.

“Things that we feel strongly we could have gotten were destroyed,” Barbee said.

After a house fire, Tangelyn has few pictures left of her daughter taken far too soon.

“Well I miss her every day especially on her birthday and the month she died,” Berrian said.

“We have no person of interest in Latoya’s case,” Barbee said.

The mother says as she waits for justice, she’s continuing to pray that her daughter’s killer won’t strike again.

“Now the only thing I want them to do is to go to jail. I just don’t want them to be walking around,” Berrian said.

Barbee and Tangely stay in contact with one another, sharing any new information they receive. If you remember what happened to Latoya Berrian call the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500.