THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A 10-day search for Deanna Shirey ended with the discovery of her body at the home of a man police had been looking for previously, and who is now under arrest.
Her body was located at the Thomas County home of Robert Carter II, after police received tips from citizens in the area who became suspicious.
The body was camouflaged in a tall grassy area, and they suspect it had been there for a while. State investigators cannot confirm yet how Deanna Shirey died, but her body has been taken to the crime lab in Moultrie for a preliminary autopsy.
Investigators don't know how her car got to Tallahassee.
Investigators said they did check Carter's property earlier in the investigation, and found evidence at that time that led them to believe he was connected to Shirey's disappearance, but couldn't say more because it's still an open investigation.
Carter is being held on other charges, and so far has not been charged in this case.
Thomasville Police Major Wade Glover said the community had been crucial in this investigation.
"We want to, again, thank all our citizens who helped. Whether you were a party to help the search, or giving information, providing information that would led us to this particular incident, or follow-up was greatly appreciated," said Glover.
A few hours after police found her body was when Shirey's family were first made of aware of this heartbreaking discovery.
Nick Abiusi, Shirey's son, said even though this isn't the end they were hoping for, they find peace in knowing their mom will have a proper burial. He said it's the support from the community that is giving them strength during this painful time.
"My heart and my hat go to the family, and it's very sad," said Allen Harper, a Thomasville resident.
And, the community support is more present than ever.
Harper, who lives near Carter's residence, was stunned to hear this happened near where he and his family lives. He wants Shirey's family to know the community is here for them.
"Keep your head up, God got y'all. Everybody, I know everybody in the community got y'all in their prayers. My family has you in our players, too," said Harper.
The family released a statement on their 'Bring Deanna Shirey Home' Facebook page, thanking the community and saying they couldn't get through this without your support.
Abiusi said they are planning a celebration for their mom's life with the community.
They don't have many details yet but know for certain that they want to remember their mom the way everyone did.
Since the investigation into Shirey's disappearance began, several community members all shared the same affection for Shirey saying she is one of the sweetest people they knew.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call the GBI's Thomasville Office at (229) 225-4090.