DALTON, Ga. -- The husband of a woman whose body was found Thursday morning in a Dawnville home is now wanted on two counts of murder.
Adolph Ray "Sonny" Neal, 49, of Dalton, is wanted in connection with the death of his wife and another relative, said Capt. Rick Swiney of the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office.
Police did not release the names of the victims, but family members at the scene said they were Jessica Miller Neal, 27, and Donald Shedd, who they said was about 70.
On Thursday morning, Whitfield County deputies discovered the body of an elderly man inside the house at 1200 Green Springs Road, off Dawnville Road. They found the body of a woman in a separate building.
Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood described the incident as a "very violent homicide."
"We're in the process of following up with family members, friends, associates, anybody that may have any information that might bring this investigation to a close," he said.
Wayne Warnack, who lives near the home where the bodies were found, said a 9-year-old girl came to his front door crying for help about 7 a.m. Thursday.
"She said, 'Somebody's killed my papaw,'" Warnack said.
He walked with the little girl back to her home as he dialed police, he said.
The 9-year-old is Neal's daughter and Shedd's granddaughter, family members said. The three shared the home with Sonny Neal, they said, and another elderly man they know only as "Bob" lives there, too.
The little girl was handed over to family members, said Cindy and Billy Miller, Jessica Neal's stepmother and father. They said Jessica and Sonny Neal had been "going through difficulties" recently.
On Thursday, searchers could be seen canvassing nearby neighborhoods and wooded areas with tracking dogs and a police helicopter.
Cindy Miller said Jessica Neal worked at a local beauty salon called Dazzle and had been going to school to become a dental hygienist.
"She had just finished her first quarter," she said tearfully.
Friends and neighbors crowded at the crime scene tape Thursday, watching and waiting for any information. Others tried to provide comfort to the family.
Warnack, who stood at the edge of his property, said he'd seen the little girl and her grandfather riding through the neighborhood from time to time in a golf cart.
The first emergency officials to arrive went through the garage to get into the house, Warnack said. When the door was opened, "I could see him [Shedd] laying in there, right up next to the door," Warnack said.
The little girl was shattered, he said.
"She was crying so hard; she was just destroyed," Warnack said.
Anyone who can help investigators should call the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office at 706-278-1233.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...
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