DA: New Leads Led to Search at Stephen McDaniel's Apartment

3:40 PM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters says new leads led to Tuesday night's search at Stephen McDaniel's apartment.

Police say McDaniel is a "person of interest" in last month's apparent homicide of Lauren Giddings.

McDaniel and Giddings lived in next-door apartments at the Barristers Hall apartments for Mercer University law students on Georgia Avenue, Macon. Giddings, 27, recently graduated from Mercer University Law School. McDaniel, 25, was also a student at the law school.

Police investigators were seen inside McDaniel's apartment late Tuesday night and apparently removing items.

Police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said Wednesday those items will be sent to the FBI for analysis. Police had sent more than 70 items to the FBI last week and said they expected results of forensic testing on them early this week.

Winters said Wednesday morning that investigators haven't received those test results. He's not sure when they will arrive. 

Wednesday morning, Winters would not describe the new leads that led to the search Tuesday night. He also wouldn't say if police searched any other apartments in the complex.

Winters says his office obtained a search warrant late Tuesday from Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tripp Self.

Search warrants are usually issued by a magistrate judge; Winters wouldn't say why his office got the warrant from Self.

13WMAZ's Eleanor Lissitzyn reported from the scene Tuesday night that investigators appeared to remove items from Apartment 4 at 1058 Georgia Avenue. McDaniel lives in Apartment 4; Giddings lived in Apartment 2.

Investigators were seen carrying out bags -- about a dozen. Two or three of the bags were large and appeared to be filled with soft items. 

Giddings' dismembered torso was found outside the building on June 30, five days after she was last seen alive. No one has been charged with the killing.

McDaniel remains in jail on unrelated charges that he burglarized two apartments in the building, though not Giddings'. He was arrested July 1 after being questioned about Giddings' death. 

Two Macon Police crime-scene vans were back at the complex Tuesday night and were parked in front of the building along with two patrol cars.

The investigators left the scene around midnight and the crime-scene vans pulled away, leaving a lone police cruiser parked in front of the building.

Before Tuesday night's search, police had said they had no solid suspects in Giddings' death and were awaiting those FBI test results before deciding how to proceed.

Giddings' parents cleaned out their daughter's apartment late last week. 

They were at the memorial Mass on Saturday night attended by dozens of relatives and hundreds of others.

Her parents have returned home to North Laurel, Md. while awaiting developments in the investigation.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that our reporter saw police inside Lauren Giddings' apartment. She saw them in McDaniel's apartment.

Most Watched Videos