Neighbors react to murder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors react to murder

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NORMAN PARK, GA (WALB) -

A Colquitt County woman is charged with drowning her six year old granddaughter.

The little girl drowned in a pond near Norman Park yesterday.

Police now say Virginia Sims, distraught over marital troubles, threw the child into the water then planned to kill herself, but had a change of heart and ran for help.

Keri Howard is in disbelief that a murder literally hit so close to home.

"It's scary to think something like that could happen in Norman Park, you know? It's a small town. Nothing happens here, let alone not even 100 feet from my house," said Howard.

Howard is distraught because, investigators say, Virginia Sims murdered her six year old granddaughter, Alexis Walker.

The GBI says Sims threw the little girl into a pond right by Howard's house Tuesday night.

Howard's husband heard screams as he was outside cutting the grass. She had a sleepless night.

"I was crying last night. Tossing and turning all night long because as a mother, how can you hurt a child? As a grandparent you're suppose to protect your grand kid," said Howard.

Howard is a mother of four and says her heart goes out to Walker's family.

"I'm so sorry for the mother and family that they lost a little girl that still had her whole life ahead of her and she didn't deserve that. No kid deserves that," said Howard.

Howard says she feels a little bit better a day after the murder. She's taking it one day at a time.

"The only way I'm getting comfort is knowing she's somewhere better, you know? She's with God and he was with her," said Howard.

This isn't Sims' first run in with the law. She was charged with first degree arson in June of 2010 when she set a house on fire. Those charges were later dropped.

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