Community Shocked by Jeff Davis County Homicide - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/21/04

Community Shocked by Jeff Davis County Homicide

Police are asking for your help trying to solve a brutal murder in Jeff Davis County. An elderly shop owner was killed Friday afternoon right outside the small town of Hazlehurst. It took place on a quiet stretch of road in Jeff Davis County.

"We hadn't had anything like this happen since 1996," said Sheriff Jimmy Boatright.

Seventy-four-year-old Mary Lee Sharpe lived here her entire life. "It's just a sad situation that somebody would do that," said Boatright. She worked selling odds and ends at her business right next door to her home. "She's well liked," he added. "We respected her. We all called her granny."

Sheriff Boatright said Sharpe kept the store's money in her pocket instead of the cash register. The money was found on her person by police investigators.

Now a wreath hangs on Mary Lee Sharpe's mail box as a reminder of the life that is now gone and taken very violently. "She had several blows to the head," said Boatright. "The cause of death was blunt trauma."

Investigators are still looking for the vehicle they believe may lead to her killer. "It's a silver gray champagne colored full size pick-up with visor top, dark colored cap hanging from the rear view mirror," said Boatright. Unfortunately, with no surveillance video, police have very few clues.

In a town with a population just over 12,000, the woman who lived here for 74 years knew just about everybody and had no reason to fear for her life.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

If you have any information about this homicide please call the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Office at (912) 375-6600 or call the Georgia Bureau of Investigations at (912) 389-4103.

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