published Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Family of slain law graduate wants Georgia farm searched

MACON, Ga. — Parents of a slain Mercer University law school graduate want investigators to search farmland in central Georgia in hopes of finding her remains.

The parents of 27-year-old Lauren Giddings are asking a federal judge to allow them to search farmland that belonged to a relative of murder suspect Stephen McDaniel.

The federal wrongful death lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Macon, The Telegraph newspaper reported .

McDaniel is charged with the June 2011 slaying and dismemberment of Giddings, who was from Laurel, Md. Her torso was found in a trash bin near her apartment and police have said the rest of her remains have not been found.

McDaniel has pleaded not guilty. His attorney Floyd Buford declined to comment until he’s reviewed the lawsuit.

From early on in the murder investigation, the Giddings family has wanted to thoroughly search a 63-acre tract where a relative of McDaniel’s lived until his death last year.

The lawsuit alleges that McDaniel visited the Pike County farm, about an hour west of Macon, the weekend before Giddings was killed. The lawsuit contends that McDaniel went there looking for locations where he could “scatter dismembered body parts through the woods.”

The Macon newspaper reports that investigators never searched the property.

Giddings father, Billy Giddings of Maryland, said in an interview that he wants cadaver dogs to search the area.

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