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But for Timely Calls, Police Might Never Have Found Body of Murdered Mercer Law Grad Lauren Giddings

Posted Jul 28, 2011 12:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Terrible though it has been for family and friends of a murdered Mercer University law graduate to know that she is dead, it could have been worse, the Macon police chief and her sister say.

But for timely calls to police and an all-hands-on-deck response by authorities, Lauren Giddings' body might not have been found, forcing those who were close to her to live with the ongoing anxiety and false hope of a missing person case, the Macon Telegraph reports.

Her dismembered body was found in a wheeled trash bin at the apartment building at which she lived, about two hours before the garbage would have been collected and taken to a local landfill, the newspaper reports. Knowing that the 27-year-old had been murdered, police could move forward with their investigation and her family could begin grieving.

A funeral is scheduled for Aug. 6 at her family's church in Laurel, Md., after a memorial service earlier this month at the church she attended in Macon. She was remembered at the memorial service as a warm, humble, talented and giving woman who was a lot of fun and enriched the lives of everyone who knew her, the Macon Telegraph recounted in an earlier article.

An achiever who excelled in all aspects of her life, Giddings was a “magnet who drew others to her and made us feel part of a privileged inner circle,” said law professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore, adding: “We all liked her immediately because of her warmth and sense of fun and just adored her as we got to know her."

Giddings' married sister, Kaitlyn Wheeler, 24, was among those who called police starting on June 29, leading to the discovery of Giddings' body at about 9 a.m. on June 30.

"At a time like this, it’s hard to feel blessed, but we are so blessed ... that she isn’t still missing,” Wheeler told the newspaper yesterday. Her family, she says, are "trying to at least crawl forward. If she was still missing, we would still be at a dead stop in our lives, searching.”

Police are still investigating the case and are awaiting test results on evidence. A fellow Mercer law graduate who is a person of interest in the case is jailed on unrelated burglary charges. However, Police Chief Mike Burns has declined to say whether there are other persons of interest or describe in detail at this time the leads authorities are pursuing.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "New Leads in Mercer Law Grad’s Murder, But No Arrest Imminent; Police Chief Announces $12K Reward"

ABAJournal.com: "Did Police Find Master Key in Apartment of Dismembered Law Grad’s Neighbor?"

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