Murder suspect meets teen on Facebook, travels 300 miles to her home

Murder suspect meets teen on Facebook, travels 300 miles to her home
(Source: Anderson Co., SC Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Anderson Co., SC Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Google Maps)
(Source: Google Maps)

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - A teen's mother is concerned for her family's safety after a man, accused of murder, came to her home looking for her daughter.

Investigators probed the case at the mother's home in Fitzgerald on Tuesday.

The family reported that 22-year-old John Asher Farrell-Villarreal came to their house twice.

Authorities said on Christmas Eve, Farrell-Villarreal began hitchhiking more than 300 miles from Travelers Rest, SC to see the 17-year-old girl he met on Facebook.

"This is a perfect example of what we got to watch out for, because they did not know each other until this," said Captain Lee Cone with Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office.

According to a report from Anderson County, South Carolina, deputies said Marie Fowler and James Crowder agreed to take Farrell-Villarreal to the South Carolina and Georgia state line. But when they pulled over on I-85 to let him use the bathroom, Farrell-Villarreal suddenly shot both of them and took off in their car. Fowler was killed in the shooting. Crowder was critically injured.

Farrell-Villarreal then proceeded to travel to Fitzgerald, and showed up at the teen's home.

"I said, you got to get out of here and I said you got two seconds to leave or I'm going to call the police," said the girl's mother, who asked not to be identified. "And he went to the back door and he said, 'we can do this the easy way or the hard way' and he closed it. He got in the front and said, 'I'll wait 5 minutes in the front for you.'"

But a Ben Hill County deputy showed up and Farrell-Villarreal decided to go back to South Carolina. But he returned to Fitzgerald just five days later to see the teen daughter.

The mother found him outside of her home after she returned from work.

"He ran to the car, he sped off and I followed him, she recalled. "I followed him for like 5 or 6 minutes and I was going 85, 90 so I know he was going 100 [mph] or over. And I lost him."

After the family's second encounter, deputies tracked Farrell-Villarreal down in South Carolina the next day, and arrested him.

"Thank God! Because we all could have been shot," said the mother. "He was coming to kill us that night, he wasn't coming for no reason."

Farrell-Villarreal was taken to jail and denied bond.

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