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Effingham Co. man arrested in double homicide
Son charged in slaying of father, brother
Philip Craig Heidt - photo by Special
     Effingham County authorities arrested the adult son of a slain real estate developer Friday on charges he killed his father and brother in a triple shooting last summer that also wounded his mother.
      Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie did not answer reporters' questions about the nine-month investigation after he announced the arrest at a brief news conference.
      Craig Heidt, 41, of Springfield was charged with two counts of murder in the Aug. 25 slayings of his father, Philip Martin Heidt, and younger brother, Carey Albert Heidt.
      The suspect's mother, 59-year-old Linda Heidt, was also shot before calling 911 from the family's home in Springfield, 26 miles northwest of Savannah. She survived and was released from a hospital months ago, a friend said, but her whereabouts Friday were unknown.
      Craig Heidt was charged with one count of aggravated battery in the shooting of his mother.
      Investigators from the Effingham Count Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation declined to discuss a motive for the slayings Friday and said little about why it took several months to make an arrest.
      ‘‘We conducted a very thorough investigation with multiple interviews on all aspects,'' said David Ehsanipoor, the sheriff's spokesman. ‘‘We had one shot at this case and wanted to make sure it was done right.''
      Sheriff's officials had previously said that they interviewed more than 100 people and that the case was complicated by 59-year-old   Philip Heidt's numerous business connections.
      He had worked as a commercial and residential developer in Effingham County, and as an associate broker with Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty. He was also a past president of the local chamber of commerce.
      ‘‘Philip was a mover and shaker in this community,'' said Ruth Lee, a friend who met Heidt through the chamber when she and her husband ran a timber business. ‘‘A lot of what you see in terms of business and development here, Philip had a finger in it.''
      Carey Heidt, 32, worked with his father selling real estate. His wife, Robin Heidt, declined to comment when reached by phone Friday.
      Sheriff's officials said they did not know if Craig Heidt had hired an attorney. He was being held at the Effingham County jail.
      Real-estate broker Alice DeForest worked with Philip Heidt for 19 years and can remember when Carey Heidt began working with his father as a teenager, answering phones at the real estate office.
      Philip Heidt served as a mentor to her and other real estate agents starting out, DeForest said, and Carey Heidt would bring her children chicken nuggets and other treats when they visited the office.
      DeForest would not talk about Linda Heidt's recovery or discuss the elder son charged with shooting his parents and brother. But she said she still has no idea why the shootings happened.
      ‘‘It's still like a dream,'' DeForest said. ‘‘I feel the loss every day.''

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