Valdosta man charged with girlfriend's murder - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta man charged with girlfriend's murder

Richard Morrison (Source: Lowndes Co. Jail) Richard Morrison (Source: Lowndes Co. Jail)

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta Police say they have some answers tonight into the murder of Tammy Smith--a mother of seven and long-time resident of Valdosta.

Forty-eight-year-old Richard Morrison, Smith's boyfriend of 12 years, is charged with the crime.

This murder is the first in Valdosta this year.  Smith's body was discovered in the grass on the 1000 block of Cypress Street, where she lived.

"It appears the murder did not occur at that location," says Commander Eugene Bell of the Valdosta Police Department.  "The body was placed there, on the side of the road."

Police say details of the murder are still unclear.

"The cause of death is unknown at this time.  It's still under investigation," says Bell.  "We've sent Ms. Smith's body to Atlanta for an autopsy."

Friends say Smith had been abused by Morrison before, and remember her as a loving and vivacious person.

"Tammy was a sweet, nice, loving girl--she'd always give you anything she got," says Colette Williams, who has lived near Smith for most of her life. 

The close-knit community is reeling from the shock.

"Everybody's been all down about that," says Williams.  "They're all down about her being gone, and she's going to be missed terribly--especially by me."

Most of the concern is for Smith's seven children.  "Her sisters and her brothers will take real good care of her children--that's for sure," Williams says.

Autopsy results will reveal the exact cause of Smith's death, though police say her body showed signs of serious trauma.  For now, Richard Morrison remains behind bars at the Lowndes County Jail, charged with murdering the very woman neighbors say he was inseparable from.

 

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