Franklin Benson, 47, goes before a Newton County Magistrate judge Monday morning to face charges that he murdered his girlfriend and then dismembered her body. He was arrested late Sunday after GBI agents and crime lab technicians cracked the strange case.
It began October 30 when some dogs found a human foot in some woods behind a vacant house off Georgia Highway 212 and Island Shoals Road in Newton County. Searchers soon discovered another foot, some legs and a hand.
It turns out Leslyan Williams, 49, of Decatur was reported missing about the same time by some out-of-state relatives. With that missing report and the remains, investigators soon came up with boyfriend Franklin Benson's name. They learned Benson runs a car care business near the crime scene.
"Investigators were able to make a connection with the location where the body was found and two individuals," GBI spokesman John Bankhead told 11Alive News Sunday night. He said crime lab technicians were then able to link up the severed hand and the victim.
"They obtained fingerprints from the remains and compared them to the victim's fingerprints and made a match," Bankhead explained. Investigators will continue to search for Williams' head and torso, hoping an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.
Suspect Franklin Benson is now being held in the Newton County Jail awaiting his Monday first court appearance. Meanwhile, investigators are asking anyone with information on either Williams or Benson to call the GBI Tip Line at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).
My mom works with the sister of the woman mentioned in this story. You hear about these thing happening but you never expect them to happen to people you actually know. According to what I was told on Saturday, the sister was reported missing 10 days previous but the local police refused to investigate, saying that she was an adult and had the right to "disappear" and not be in contact with anyone. Even after the family insisted this was totaly out of character for her, it took the involvement of the Inkster police (my mom and the victim's sister work for the city of Inskter) to get the authorities involved down there.
The family was travelling down to GA from MI to see what was going on first hand. They were in Kentucky when they got the call that she was dead. At that point all that was found were her hands and feet.
I can't even imagine the horror this family is going through. Hopefully justice will be swift and exact. I know that if it were my sister that man wouldn't even make it to his arraignment alive.