Ray City Man accused of Murdering Land Lady - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ray City Man accused of Murdering Land Lady

An arrest today in the shooting death of an 85-year old Berrien County woman.

33-year old Dennis Gene Welch and 30-year old Michelle Lynn Zeigenfuss were arrested this morning in Alachua County, Florida.

Investigators say they had Jamie Wright's pickup truck at an apartment complex in Gainesville.

Mrs. Wright was shot and killed at her Jones Street home in Ray City Saturday.

Investigators believe the couple rented from Mrs. Wright.

Welch is originally from Michigan and he and Ziegenfuss had been living in Ray City for about a month.

Right now Welch and Zeigenfuss are charged with theft by taking but the GBI says murder charges are forthcoming against Welch.

Below is a Press Release from the GBI

RAY CITYOn Monday, September 26, 2011, at approximately 6:30 am, Alachua County Florida Sheriff's Deputies and GBI Agents arrested Dennis Gene Welch, 33, and Michelle Lynn Ziegenfuss, 30, both of Ray City Georgia on  Theft by Taking warrants relating to the murder of Mrs. Jamie Wright. 

GBI Agents had developed information that Welch and Ziegenfuss, 30, were in possession of Mrs. Wrights 2002 Dodge Dakota which was stolen from her residence and obtained the warrants on both individuals.  

Welch and Ziegenfuss were located at the Ironwood apartments in Gainesville, Florida by Alachua County Deputies after being requested by GBI Agents to check that area. Mrs. Wright's vehicle was recovered at the apartments.  

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, at approximately 3:44 pm, Ray City Police were dispatched to the residence of Jamie M. Wright, W/F, 85 YOA, located on Jones Street in Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Ray City Police were dispatched in reference to a 911 call received advising Mrs. Wright had been discovered deceased inside her residence by family members. Ray City Police then requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Douglas office to assist in the investigation.

Initial Investigation revealed Mrs. Wright had been shot and an autopsy conducted at the GBI Crime Lab in Macon on Monday confirmed that she died of a gunshot wound.

Additional charges are forthcoming in Georgia for both subjects to include a murder charge on Welch.

Both subjects are being held in Alachua County until extradition is waived or a hearing can be held to return them to Georgia.

Welch is originally from Michigan and he and Ziegenfuss had been living in Ray City for approximately one month.

The investigation is still on-going; therefore no other details will be released at this time.

The Ray City Police Department, Columbia County Florida Sheriff's Office and Alachua County Florida Sheriff's office have all provided assistance in the investigation.

If anyone has information pertaining to the investigation, please contact the GBII Douglas Office at 912-389-4103, GBI 24 hour number in Atlanta at 1-800-597-8477 or the Ray City Police Department at 229-455-2501     

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved

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