New details surface in woman’s bus station death

New details surface in woman’s bus station death

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany Police Department still needs your help finding a woman’s killer after she was dragged and strangled.

It happened Monday night, outside of the Albany Transportation Terminal.

A portion of it was caught on camera.

An Albany woman said she fed the 61-year-old Teresa Cole through her non-profit organization. She said she feeds hundreds of homeless people each month.

Amanda Griffin feeds the homelessness five days out the week at Tift Park in Albany (Source: Amanda Griffin)
Amanda Griffin feeds the homelessness five days out the week at Tift Park in Albany (Source: Amanda Griffin)

Sadly, the woman said, Cole told her four months ago that she was afraid her life would end soon.

“Whenever I heard about it, it was like a gunshot had instantly went off in my stomach because these people are just not homeless people that I serve. These people are my family,” said Amanda Griffin, founder of Love and Loaves: A Proverbs 31:20 Ministry.

Amanda Griffin, founder of Love and Loaves: A Proverbs 31:20 Ministry
Amanda Griffin, founder of Love and Loaves: A Proverbs 31:20 Ministry (Source: WALB)

That’s the immediate reaction Griffin had when she discovered, Cole had been killed, strangled and beaten Monday night.

“It was very saddening to me because she was one of the sweetest ladies that you would’ve had the pleasure to have met,” said Griffin.

Since January, Griffin had been giving food and clothes to Cole through her organization at Tift Park.

They were close and even shared many tears together.

“She was being bullied out here in the community by some of the other homeless people,” said Griffin.

It got so bad four months ago that Griffin said Cole told her she was afraid for her well-being.

“And she thought that she was actually going to lose her life. In her words, she said one of them is going to end up killing me,” said Griffin.

Police said the man seen in pictures, dragging Cole behind the bus station’s hedges, was possibly homeless like her.

The Albany Police Department and the Dougherty County Coroner announce Teresa Lynn Cole's cause of death. An autopsy...

Posted by Albany Ga Police Department on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Griffin said this has other women scared.

“Expressing extreme concern for their safety because either they have been attacked or have been threatened of being attacked,” said Griffin.

Griffin wants to open up a women’s transition center to keep all women safe from senseless crimes like this one.

“But I really feel like we need to come together as a group, as a community and create a safe space for these women,” said Griffin.

And honor a woman who died so tragically.

“She will never be forgotten. Her memory will stay with us forever,” said Griffin.

Griffin is in the process of speaking with City Commissioners about starting a women’s rehabilitation transitional center.

Griffin said she needs the community’s help to make it happen. She said once the transitional center is started, it will be named in Cole’s honor.

New homeless project in the works to protect victims

New details surface in woman’s bus station death

Creating safe spaces and protecting women who are out on the street is the main goal for Griffin, who is trying to target and prevent things from happening to women who are homeless.

After the death of Cole, Griffin is pushing harder to create a new women’s rehabilitation transitional center.

The program will take women off the streets and keep them safe around the clock.

They will receive rehabilitation, counseling, therapy and help with finding housing.

Griffin said she now needs help with donations, a vacant building and helping hands.

“There’s a lot of pieces to this puzzle, but if the community would come out and help in this project, we can make it happen a whole lot faster,” said Griffin.

Griffin said after women are done with the program, they will follow them for an entire year.

She hopes the center can be placed near the Tift Park area.

Understanding the Good Samaritan Law and acting quickly

Police also said witnesses who saw part of the attack did not offer any assistance.

Prosecutors said it’s important to report all violent crimes when you see them. They said there’s actually no law that’s applicable in instances where people are watching crimes and fail to act.

They said it’s not a crime under the law, even if a person doesn’t report it. However, they did say that you should want to be a good Samaritan and help either way.

Attorneys said the Georgia Good Samaritan Law provides protection for anyone who does give aid.

Investigators said if you’re going to record a crime, you need to call for help as well.

“If nothing else, call the police to try to intervene as quickly as possible or do something to distract the person from attacking. Do something. You don’t have to put yourself in danger but do something to stop an ongoing crime if you can,” said Greg Edwards, the district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit.

If you’re doing a good deed, prosecutors said you can be protected from civil and criminal liability.

Edwards said his office will continue to investigate Cole’s death as a whole which includes sexual assault allegations.

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