Multiple suspects indicted for kidnapping, killing woman found in 2020

Melanie Steele
Melanie Steele(Savannah Police Department)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:07 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Four people are charged in connection to the abduction and killing of a woman who was reported missing in 2019 and her body later discovered.

A Chatham County grand jury issued a felony murder indictment on Wednesday in the case of 24-year-old Melanie Steele, revealing more details about the circumstances surrounding her death.

Steele was abducted and shot and killed between Sept. 13 and 14th of 2019 during a drug deal involving the sale of meth and heroin, according to the indictment.

Her body wasn’t discovered until March 19, 2020 on New Hampstead Parkway. A DNA analysis later confirmed her identity.

Savannah Police initially charged three people with her murder: John Lashea Bailey, Taj Dialo Gayle and Justin Lewis Path.

The grand jury indicted all three for felony murder and conspiracy to commit the sale/purchase of controlled substances.

Additionally, Marcus Antonio Wilson is indicted for felony murder. He’s also charged with kidnapping along with Gayle and Bailey.

(Chatham County Jail)

Gequan Marquis Simmons also is listed in the indictment. He’s charged with armed robbery along with Bailey, Gayle and Path. They’re accused of robbing a man at gunpoint on Sept. 14, of 2019, which is around the timeframe Steele was killed, according to the indictment.

An obituary for Steele says on the night she was abducted she sent a text message to her mother that read, “I love you mommy, would you please kiss my baby boy for me?”

Her son was four years old when she was killed, according to her obituary. She was from Marietta, Ga.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.