Bibb County 'brutal murder' still unsolved after 20 years


MACON, Ga. -- It's been 20 years since neighbors on Chestney Rd. found a woman's body in a drainage ditch. Now, investigators know little more than her name and are still looking for answers.

The case still bothers retired investigator Mike Smallwood of the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.

"I've never had one exactly like this prior, and I never had one after this," Smallwood said.

For him, the mystery started on a cold December morning in 1997, when the body was discovered in a drainage pipe off Chestney Rd. WGXA crews were there when investigators took away her body.

Ed Bond, the county coroner in 1997, said then, "I can't recall a case in which someone's been decapitated. It was a very brutal murder."

The woman's hands and feet were also removed. Investigators believe that was to keep her identity a secret, which worked for a little while.

Smallwood said, "You got no fingerprints to match. You got no dental records to match."

However, a few weeks later, Macon police got a missing person's report for Edna Blaine, whose boyfriend gave the report. Investigators tested the woman's DNA with Blaine's parents, and found a match.

In late January of 1998, investigators found a grisly clue. They came up with a hand found in an abandoned building on Montpelier Ave.

Smallwood said that at the time, Blaine's boyfriend was a person of interest, but that there wasn't enough evidence to bring it to the district attorney or a grand jury. Then the case went cold.

Lt. Shelly Rutherford with the Violent Crimes Division of the Bibb Sheriff's Office said, "We have not had any other information come in since that time."

Edna Blaine's murder is still an open case, one that Lt. Rutherford still hopes to close.

"It's been 20 years now, and in those 20 years we've not had anyone come forward. I would beg the public, if you know something, come to us, come see us. Let's put this family at peace," Rutherford said.

Both retired investigator Smallwood and Lt. Rutherford said that to move the case forward at all, they need the public's help.

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