The man whom a Georgia college student reported for unwanted kissing and touching before she went missing has been charged with murder in her death, along with the student’s roommate, police said Saturday.
Barron Brantley and his girlfriend, Jordyn Jones, both 21, are in custody after one of them led investigators to the body of 21-year-old Alexis Crawford in a Georgia park on Friday, according to the Atlanta Police Department. A medical examiner determined that Crawford died of asphyxiation.
Friday’s discovery gave “one of the saddest conclusions possible” to the search for the Clark Atlanta University student, who was reported missing Nov. 1, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told reporters.
“I am so truly sorry that we could not provide you with a better ending,” Shields said, addressing her words to Crawford’s family.
Police have not given a motive in the killing.
Brantley’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an inquiry Saturday, and The Washington Post was unable to reach an attorney for Jones.
Days before she went missing, on Oct. 27, Crawford told authorities that Brantley had rubbed her shoulder with his hand and kissed her on the neck as they drank together, according to a police report. Crawford told police Brantley said he’d mistaken her for his girlfriend — Crawford’s roommate, Jones.
Crawford said she entered a restroom by herself after Brantley followed her to her room, according to the report.
Jones told police that she found Crawford locked inside the bathroom wearing only a bra, the report states. It’s unclear exactly when Jones found her roommate. The Oct. 27 report said authorities also recovered a “pair of cut panties” in the restroom.
According to the report, Jones recalled Crawford’s saying she had passed out and was unsure what happened. Crawford said she did not remember Brantley’s being in the bathroom with her, according to the report. Brantley said he did not have sex with Crawford, Jones told police.
Crawford was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta for a rape examination, the police report said.
After Crawford’s disappearance, Jones told investigators that she was not “on speaking terms” with her roommate because of a “separate incident” that is not detailed, according to a missing-person report. The report also refers to an unspecified “separate incident” that allegedly occurred on Oct. 26, noting that friends said Crawford hadn’t been comfortable sleeping in her bedroom and had moved to the living room since that day.
Family members said they last heard from Crawford on Oct. 30, police documents state. Crawford’s mother said her daughter was laughing and “in good spirits” in their last conversation via FaceTime.
On Monday, family members gathered at Atlanta police headquarters to plead for the community’s help in finding Crawford — a young woman from Athens, Ga., “who’s got her whole life ahead of her,” the Rev. Markel Hutchins, a community leader, said at the tearful news conference.
“Come home. I love you,” Crawford’s father said in an emotional address to his daughter.
Either Jones or Brantley — police have not specified which — eventually took police to Crawford’s body in DeKalb County. Brantley, charged Friday, and Jones, charged Saturday, were taken to the Fulton County jail for booking, police said.
Brantley also has been charged with hindering a person making an emergency telephone call and violating probation stemming from family battery, cruelty to children and theft, jail records show.
The Fulton County district attorney did not immediately provide further details on the charges.
The president of Clark Atlanta University, George French Jr., said in a statement Friday that investigators consider Crawford’s death an “isolated, off-campus incident” and that “there was never a threat to any other members of the community.”
“Tonight, we mourn together,” he said.
Source: Washington post