Georgia authorities say they’ve learned the worst about missing 21-year-old Hannah Bender. They said they found her in a shallow grave in Forsyth County, according to Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard in an 11 Alive report. They still have to make an official identification, but they think it’s her because of markings on her body, they said.
Officials and her family believed she was dead even before the discovery. Authorities took out a murder warrant fro the arrest of Austin Todd Stryker, 22, on Saturday.
Bender’s mother Carol Gilreath previously stated her worst fears.
“My little girl is never coming back,” she said before the discovery of the victim’s body, according to WSB-TV. “She’s not coming back because she’d never do her mom like that.”
She was right.
Investigators said even then that Bender was likely dead. At the time, Jarrard cited witnesses statements. Authorities also said they found bloody clothes shortly after her mother reported her missing.
Stryker was believed to possibly be with person of interest Jerry Harper, 78.
BREAKING NEWS: Lumpkin Co. Deputies searching for Austin Todd Stryker seen here. He’s accused of killing 21 year old Hannah Bender of Dahlonega. Officials believe he may be driving a black Ford Ranger with front-end damage. If you have any information, call police. pic.twitter.com/68hZVoTYjC
— Lauren Davis (@LaurenDavisWSB) September 23, 2019
A truck connected to the disappearance was discovered in Forsyth County on Tuesday, said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The West Virginia State Police put out a notice for Stryker on Monday. They described him as last seen in Clay County, West Virginia. He was said to be wearing blue jeans and a maroon shirt. He stood 5’9″, weighed 150 pounds, and had blonde hair. Authorities consider him dangerous.
[Image via West Virginia State Police]