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GBI investigates two homicides

Claxton teen, Aline man killed in separate incidents

        A man was killed Sunday in Candler County, and a teenager was stabbed to death Sunday in an apartment parking lot in Claxton, said Chuck Sullenger, assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the Statesboro office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

            GBI agents are still actively investigating the murder of Manuel Hernandez Santiz, 27, in Aline, but the Claxton murder of a 14-year-old girl is solved, he said.

            Candler County Sheriff's investigators were called to a Turkey Ridge Road in an Aline home around 6:45 a.m. Sunday, but after arriving at the scene, they called GBI agents to handle the investigation, Sullenger said.

            "There are no suspects at this time," he said, adding that since the investigation is ongoing, he could not divulge the cause or manner of death. Investigators had been searching for a truck believed to be connected to the crime, but after locating the vehicle they determined it was "cleared," he said.

            GBI agents were called to Claxton earlier Sunday, around 12:30 a.m., where police found Chiquana Byrd, 14, dead in the parking lot of the "H" building at Rolling Oaks II Apartments, he said.

            A female suspect in the homicide is being held at Claxton Regional Youth Detention Center pending a hearing regarding whether she will be tried as an adult, he said.

            The 16-year-old suspect is believed to have stabbed Byrd "multiple times in the neck and shoulder area," he said.

            The stabbing occurred after a "disagreement between the two," he said.

            The Department of Juvenile Justice and district attorney's office will determine whether the suspect will be charged with murder as an adult, Sullenger said.

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