Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heaven Ross: remains found

Update - December 30, 2006: Police now say they do not believe Heaven's death is connected to any other crimes. For more information see http://betweenlifeanddeath.blogspot.com/2006/12/heaven-ross-memorial-announcement.html.
Either I did not hear they had found remains or else I wasn't paying attention, because this came as a total shock to me.
From WSFA TV in Montgomery (sketches of possible suspect in Shannon's murder from previous story):
Girl's Body Discovered in Tuscaloosa County; Possible Connection to Shannon Paulk Murder?
Dec 19, 2006 12:12 PM EST
TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Dec. 19, 2006 -- There's a tragic ending to a missing person case that surfaced more than three years ago and one which Prattville police thought at one time might have a connection to the murder of Shannon Paulk, an 11-year-old Prattville girl who was abducted and murdered in 2001.
Authorities in Tuscaloosa County have identified a body found Monday as that of Heaven LaShae Ross of Northport. She was 11-years-old when she vanished on August 19th, 2003 apparently while walking to her school bus stop in the Willowbrook Trailer Park in Northport.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton, at a news conference Tuesday, said the skeletal remains were found at an abandoned house in the Holt community, a few miles northeast of Tuscaloosa.
Authorities said the girl's backpack was found near the body. A forensics team from the University of Alabama and FBI agents have been combing the site for evidence.
Prattville police at one time indicated they were investigating the possibility that the murder of Shannon Paulk in 2001 could have been related to the disappearance of Ross in Northport and another girl who vanished from Georgia. Police said there were striking similarities in the appearance of the three girls -- all were taken when they were 11 years old, all were white females, all were abducted in the month of August, and all were taken from trailer parks with construction going on nearby.
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard told WSFA Tuesday morning that the Shannon Paulk Task Force is still in operation and Sgt. Bob Furlong is focused exclusively on solving the case of the dead Prattville girl. Byard says Furlong talks on a regular basis with officers in Northport, Alabama and in Twigg County Georgia because of the similarity in the cases.
Byard says he can only imagine what the Ross family and law enforcement personnel are going through in Northport at this time because he remembers what the Paulk family and local officers went through as they searched for the Prattville 11-year-old whose body was eventually discovered by hunters in October 2001.
If you know anything that can help police, call the Prattville Police Department's Secret Witness line at (334)365-2220.
Alabama Associated Press contributed to this story
This would have to be murder. How else would an 11-year-old girl get from walking to her bus stop to an abandoned house in another city?
Guestbook for messages to Heaven's family: http://www.findheaven.net/cgi-bin/guestbook.cgi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They identified the found remains right away -- that's why you didn't hear of it before.