Homicide investigation underway in Long County

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 5:17 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2021 at 3:55 PM EDT
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LONG CO., Ga. (WTOC) - A homicide investigation is underway in Long County.

Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles says LCSO deputies initially responded to investigate a death reported at the Country Manor Mobile Home Park on the 10000 block of Tibet Road in the Allenhurst area just after 11:30 p.m. Monday night.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to assist in the investigation. They say a woman was found deceased from gunshot wounds and her death has been ruled a homicide. The victim has been identified as Jessica J Gerling, 28, of Jesup. It is not yet known if she is a resident of the mobile home park.

A vehicle parked outside the mobile home was towed away. Investigators are trying to determine if the vehicle was involved in the homicide.

“There are some concerns that the vehicle was part of the incident but we’re not ready to release any additional information about the scene itself or about any details about the incident,” said Tom Sollosi, Long County Sheriff’s Office Detective.

While law enforcement will not confirm details about how the victim died, they say this is now a homicide investigation. A neighbor who lives down the road made it clear, situations like this aren’t normal here.

“When it first came to me this morning I said no, it couldn’t be maybe it’s a mistake. Then, I learned shortly after three telephone calls that yes, it did,” said Country Manor resident Homer Campbell.

Homer has lived in Country Manor for 23 years. He says he was up late Monday night and didn’t hear or see anything.

“You know we’re not used to it, uh, these kind of things around here but that is close to home,” said Campbell.

One woman was not there Monday night when law enforcement found Gerling right in her yard. She says this is traumatizing and all she can think about is her 19-year-old son.

“I immediately thought my son, that was just my immediate thought is my son o.k.,” said Jennifer Simms who lives where the victim was found.

Her son drove by on the dirt road next to the house and worried that it could’ve been her.

“It looked like he could see someone on the ground from the road but he wasn’t sure. So he thought something happened to me.”

Jennifer wasn’t even in the county when law enforcement responded to her home.

“I went back to Savannah. I stayed at a friend’s house, at like 4:30 this morning I got a call from my landlord that police was at my house and my whole house was taped off.”

One fear in Jennifer’s mind is what if the victim was looking for help.

“It’s kinda scary because I don’t know where she came from or I don’t know was she trying to get to this house for help, or, and nobody was here and I’m kinda glad I wasn’t here.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was back on the scene Wednesday. Starting Wednesday morning, several interviews were conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and GBI, according to the spokesman.

Lt. Tom Sollosi says people from Long, Wayne and Glynn counties were interviewed. We also know Gerling was a soldier but not with Fort Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield.

It’s also not clear if this was a targeted or random act. However, Lt. Sollosi says it is very much an active investigation that the Sheriff’s Office and GBI are working hard on to get more answers.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to please come forward to help with the investigation. Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency to report a tip or to speak with detectives.

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