published Friday, June 27th, 2014

Chattooga County investigators looking for murder weapon in a pond

The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office is draining a local pond as they search for a murder weapon.

Sheriff Mark Schrader said his investigators believe they will find a Colt .45 handgun that Deborah Elaine Wilkins apparently used to kill her boyfriend, William Robert Packer. That gun was missing from Packer’s home when deputies arrived there on June 14, and the bullet holes in his back are similar to those used in a Colt .45.

After he arrested Wilkins on June 19, Schrader said she confessed to killing Packer. He also said she led Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joe Montgomery to the pond where she apparently dumped the gun before calling the sheriff’s office. Schrader declined to say where the pond is located, but he noted that it is not within walking distance of Packer’s home.

Using two pumps, the sheriff’s office has been draining the pond since 9:30 a.m. Thursday. As of 10:30 this morning, they had drained about 7 of the pond’s 11 feet.

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