Canyon death ruled as suicide and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Canyon death ruled as suicide and other news from areas around Chattanooga

May 31st, 2013 by Staff Reports , Associated Press in Local Regional News

A view of the bluffs at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County, Ga.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Canyon death ruled as suicide

DADE COUNTY, Ga. - A preliminary Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy has ruled suicide as the cause of death for a 37-year-old woman who fell in Cloudland Canyon State Park.

Walker County Coroner Dewayne Wilson said authorities believe Heather Harlan, of Ringgold, climbed over a fence and past a sign warning not to go to the edge of the canyon, and jumped.

Harlan was found dead on May 18 at the bottom of the canyon, about a 100-foot drop from the top, Wilson said.

He said her autopsy found she died of blunt-force trauma to her head, neck, torso and extremities.

Harlan, a mother of three, was seen climbing over the fence and, when asked what she was doing, told the observer she was taking a picture, Wilson said.

When spotted she climbed back over the fence, but authorities say they believe she went back over it.

The GBI still is looking into the death and awaiting a more extensive medical report.


Michael Roberts

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Police seek man in drug robbery

DALTON, Ga. - The Dalton Police Department is seeking Michael Roberts, 38, in connection with a robbery at Dalton Drug at 2709 Airport Road, a news release states.

The release states Roberts is wanted on warrants for armed robbery and aggravated assault.

A man believed to be Roberts entered the pharmacy Wednesday, demanded pain pills and, when his request was turned down, threw gasoline on an employee from a small drink bottle.

The man then grabbed a bottle of hydrocodone and ran from the store.

Roberts was identified using surveillance video from the scene, according to police.

Anyone with information on Roberts' whereabouts is asked to call Detective Greg Bates at 706-278-9085, ext. 137.


Bruce Downsbrough

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

UT official fired after porn arrest

KNOXVILLE - The chief operating officer at the University of Tennessee Foundation has been fired after his arrest on charges of receiving child pornography.

An attorney for Bruce Downsbrough was in court on Thursday morning and not immediately available for comment.

The UT Foundation sent Downsbrough a termination letter Thursday.

The foundation is UT's fundraising arm. It employs its workers at-will, meaning cause is not needed to fire them.

Downsbrough is charged with downloading child pornography in 2008, 2009 and 2012. Court documents state that federal authorities searched Downsbrough's home in November, finding pornographic images on 19 digital video discs and his computer hard drive.

He was arrested Tuesday and remains in custody pending a Monday hearing.

Downsbrough has been on administrative leave from the foundation.