One year later: The Rossman Dairy Road murders

One year later: The Rossman Dairy Road murders
Jonathan Edwards, Alicia Norman, Jones Pidcock, Reid Williams, and Jordan Croft. (Source: Facebook)
Jeffrey Peacock (Colquitt Co. Sheriff's Office)
Jeffrey Peacock (Colquitt Co. Sheriff's Office)
Peacock's last Facebook post (Source: Facebook)
Peacock's last Facebook post (Source: Facebook)
A memorial now stands where five best friends were shot to death in Colquitt County in May. (Source: WALB)
A memorial now stands where five best friends were shot to death in Colquitt County in May. (Source: WALB)

COLQUITT CO., GA (WALB) - Friday, Jeffrey Peacock will be arraigned for the murders of Jonathan Edwards, Alicia Norman, Jones Pidcock, Reid Williams, and Jordan Croft.

Peacock is accused of shooting the victims then, investigators say, burning the house down in an attempt to cover up the crime.

District Attorney Brad Shealy said the case is one of the worst he's seen as a prosecutor.

"It certainly is one the most heinous crimes we've had in the recent history," he said.

This week marks one year since the murders.

That tragic Sunday morning

It was May 15, 2016 when Colquitt County Dispatchers received three calls about a home on Rossman Dairy Road on fire.

One of the calls came from Jeffrey Peacock, who at the time investigators believed to be the sole survivor of the house fire.

Peacock was frantic and emotional throughout the 7-minute 911 call.

In the call, Peacock told dispatchers he left to go get breakfast and returned about 30 minutes later and found the house engulfed in flames.

Later that day, Peacock posted a status update to Facebook saying "Well I don't think this year can get any worse."

His cover photo at the time was of a T-shirt that reads "breathe easy…don't break the law." The last public picture available on Peacock's Facebook page shows him and two of the friends he's accused of killing.

On May 19, Reid Williams was laid to rest at Mt. Sinai Cemetery and memorial services were held for Jordan Croft at LifeSpring Community Church.

The GBI had also made an arrest that day.

Jeffrey Peacock went from being the sole survivor of a tragic house fire to the suspect charged with murdering his friends.

Autopsies showed that all five victims suffered from gunshot wounds.

GBI agents also said that Peacock has a criminal history but did not elaborate.

It was also discovered that Peacock was a Marine.

The United States Marine Corp said he was discharged early in December 2012 as a Private First Class. The USMC said the "premature discharge and rank are indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps' expectations and standards."

Peacock was in jail the next day as his friends were memorialized.

Services for Jones Pidcock were held at Ashburn Hill Plantation. Alicia Norman's funeral was at Cobb Funeral Chapel and Jonathan Edwards' service was held at Heritage Church.

A candlelight vigil was held Friday night at the baseball fields in Moultrie.

Throughout the next few months, the five victims would continue to be remembered by their community.

The community's response

Alicia Norman's coworkers at Advance Auto Parts collected donations for funeral costs. They also donated cleaning supplies to the Colquitt County Humane Society to keep Norman's love for animals alive.

"I don't want to forget her because I love her and I miss her," said Desiree Flores, Alicia's manager.

Wes Smith was hired to demolish the remains of the burned house. He built a cross and placed it on the site turning what was a place of horror and sadness into a place of love and faith.

Like everyone else that came to the site, Smith said, he was overcome with sadness.

"I wanted to leave something behind to remember them by. I didn't want to come here and clean something and not have them in mind as well," said Smith.

Where is the case now?

Five months after the murder investigation began, Jeffrey Peacock's bond was set at a $1 million on October 20th. Prosecutors had asked for a $5 million bond, $1 million for each victim. By law, he is entitled to bond since he's been in jail for 90 days without being indicted.

Six more months would pass by before prosecutors began presenting their case to a grand jury.

Officials said it took them months to build a case because of the large amount of evidence they had to comb through and process.

On March 21, 2017 Jeffrey Peacock was indicted for his connection to the murders.

He is facing 14 charges: five counts of malice murder, five counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, arson in the first degree and three counts aggravated cruelty to animals.

Ten days later, DA Brad Shealy announced that his office will seek the death penalty.

"This tragic case clearly meets the statutory requirements for imposition of the death penalty as set forth in the Georgia code. I will be assisting Senior Assistant District Attorney Jim Prine of our Thomasville office, who will be the lead counsel," said Shealy.

WALB will be in the courtroom Friday when Peacock stands before a judge again.

We will continue to bring you updates to the case prosecutors call the biggest mass murder in South Georgia in the last decade.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.