Teenage Girls Arrested for Double Murder

Sandra Ketchum (L) and Holly Harvey
Sandra Ketchum (L) and Holly Harvey

Two teenage girls wanted for murdering one teen's grandparents near Atlanta have been apprehended on Tybee Island. Around 2pm, law enforcement officials from Atlanta and from Tybee arrested 15-year-old Holley Harvey and 16-year-old Sandra Ketchum.

The girls are from Fayette County, Georgia. They were arrested in connection with the stabbing deaths of Carl and Sarah Collier, Holly Harvey's grandparents.

The grandparents' bodies were found in the home Harvey shared with them. They're reported to have gone into her bedroom to confront Holly about suspected drug use when she attacked them with a knife. Authorities say Sandra Ketchum was hiding and attacked the elderly couple from behind.

"They both attacked them," said Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriff's office. "One laid in wait. When the grandparents entered the bedroom, they were not aware they were dealing with two individuals, they thought they were about to deal with one."

The victims were stabbed more than 15 times apiece.

The girls then fled in the grandparents' pickup truck, a blue 2001 Chevy Silverado. Informants helped police track the girls down to Tybee Island. They found the girls hiding at a nearby home.

"[They met some] local boys on the beach and talked them into letting them stay here in a beach house," said Lt. Col. Jordan. "I mean, they were underage, they were out of money, they weren't capable of renting a motel room. And we pretty much predicted that what they would do is try to meet some boys and find shelter that way."

After a brief struggle, both girls were taken into custody, though the arrest leaves questions for families in Fayette County. "It is my belief that the motive was mostly freedom, and for them to be together," said Lt. Col. Jordan.

The girls will spend the night in the Chatham County Youth Detention Center before being transferred to Atlanta. Each girl faces two counts of felony murder and two counts of premeditated murder. Both will be tried as adults.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com