Body found in Weiss Lake is missing Alabama woman - and more Chattanooga region news

Body found in Weiss Lake is missing Alabama woman - and more Chattanooga region news

July 22nd, 2014 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Local Regional News

Weiss Lake

Weiss Lake

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Body found in Weiss Lake is missing Alabama woman

DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. - A body discovered late Friday in Weiss Lake in Cherokee County has been identified as that of a missing woman from Valley Head, Ala., a news release states.

Sarah Jane Ortiz, 20, was reported missing by friends and family after she failed to return home July 14, the release from the office of DeKalb Sheriff Jimmy Harris states.

A fisherman found the body, which appeared to have been in the water for some time, near Yellow Creek Church in Leesburg. The sheriff said investigators had interviewed people in Leesburg on Thursday and Friday in an effort to locate Ortiz.

The body was positively identified Monday by forensics in Huntsville, but the cause of death has not been released.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office at 256-845-3801 and speak with Investigator Craig White or Commander Wade Hill.

200 pairs of panties stolen at mall

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Authorities are investigating the theft of 200 pairs of panties at an East Georgia shopping mall.

Richmond County sheriff's officials said a thief stole the panties from Victoria's Secret in Augusta Mall shortly before noon Saturday.

The Augusta Chronicle reports security video shows a man entering the store and stuffing the underwear into a large shopping bag. Authorities said he left without paying for the merchandise, valued at $1,900.

Pregnant woman killed on highway

ATLANTA - A pregnant woman died Sunday night when she was hit while trying to cross a Northeast Georgia highway.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Kimberly M. Coates, 29, of Alto, was attempting to cross Georgia 365 at Mud Creek Road about 9:15 p.m. Sunday when she was hit by a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze that was heading southbound in the right lane.

The driver of the Chevrolet, 38-year-old Joshua Ian Buehler, of Atlanta, attempted to avoid hitting Coates, the GSP said in an email, adding that the accident still is under investigation.

Call for ethics probe again declined

ATLANTA - Georgia's Attorney General Sam Olens again has declined a request by state Sen. Jason Carter to appoint an investigator to review the handling of ethics complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal.

Olens, in a letter to the Democrat running for governor, reiterated his previous assertion that he doesn't have the authority to do that and would not want to interfere with two related investigations. Olens also asks Carter to "cease using this office for political purposes."

Carter, a lawyer, has said there's no reason Olens can't appoint an independent investigator.

Carter has pointed to a memo that recently surfaced in which the head of the state ethics commission said an attorney for Deal threatened to block efforts to expand the agency's authority unless she made complaints against Deal go away.