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Valdosta teen was buried alive

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 By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - An autopsy shows a Valdosta teenager was buried alive.

Seventeen-year-old Brittany Wade was found buried in a yard in July. On Wednesday, her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Barrett, remains in jail without bond.

This is Brittany Wade's bedroom. The rest of the home is filled with memories of a daughter whose life was ended too soon.

 "To my surprise, little did I know that that would be the last time I would see my daughter alive," Willie Wade, Brittany's father.

He dropped his daughter Brittany off at a Bunche Street home the night of July 21 to visit her two children and when he came back to pick her up, she wasn't there.

Brittany was found the next day partially buried in the backyard. Twenty-one-year-old Barrett was charged with her murder.

"Brittany and Jonathan were not going together or living together or anything," said Wade. "The reason that Brittany was over at the house was she was visiting her kids. She was not over there to see her man."

Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson says the blunt force trauma makes him think she was unconscious. Dirt was found in her lungs meaning she was breathing when she was buried. The cause of death according to a report from the state crime lab is strangulation and asphyxiation.

"There was a restraining order on both of them," said Wade. "They were not allowed to be within 500 feet unless they were visiting the kids at the same time."

Police say the crime was act of domestic violence. Wade says Barrett could never stay away and calls him a predator.

"Domestic violence is really about power and control so a lot of the first signs would be someone wanting to know where you are constantly," said Karen Argyle of The Haven.

The autopsy confirms the death of Brittany Wade was a homicide. Barrett has a bond hearing on Friday at the Lowndes County Courthouse.

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