Cops seek info from public to catch killer of Fayette woman

Cerebral palsy victim, 44, a ‘loving, dedicated church-goer, granddaughter’

A local woman made a tearful, emotional plea Friday afternoon for information about the gunman who shot and killed her granddaughter Aug. 10 after they stumbled on burglars inside their home.

Flyers with a photo of Donna Denice Roberts have been posted at area businesses with a request for anyone with such information to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Roberts’ death.

The hope is that someone will talk: someone who either participated in the burglary, or perhaps someone who has overheard the gunman or another witness talk about the crime.

Or maybe someone saw something suspicious in the area of Roberts’ home at 192 Bohannon Road prior to or after the incident, which occurred at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 10.

“It is possible that someone was present in that suspect’s vehicle who wasn’t aware of what was about to transpire,” said sheriff’s Inv. Brent Rowan. “Maybe they have information they can provide us. Maybe they are scared. What we are asking for is for them to do the right thing and come forward.”

Some evidence was left behind by the assailant and potentially other burglars, sheriff’s officials said. The suspects’ vehicle was described as a light colored four-door passenger car.

The car was about to get away when one shot was fired, striking Roberts in the head and killing her on the spot, officials have said. It is so far unknown why the shot was fired if the burglars were on the verge of getting away, Rowan noted.

Roberts, 44, was known to her friends as “Denice” and lived with her grandmother because of cerebral palsy, officials said. The two had come home from running errands when they stumbled onto the burglary in progress, according to sheriff’s officials.

In her plea for information on the case, Roberts’ grandmother said her granddaughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy, “was full of love ... and she never met a stranger.”

“Her smile drew people in and could light up a room when she walked in. She loved everybody, and everybody loved her.”

Roberts was remembered as having a life that revolved around horseback riding, Sunday School and church.

“My heart is broken,” Roberts’ grandmother continued. “Whoever did this took not only my granddaughter’s life, but my reason for living. We needed each other, we did work together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She was my best friend and I’m totally lost without her.”

Rowan said the sheriff’s office will continue to work the case and will find the individuals who killed Roberts, but he too said help from the community would be crucial to bringing justice in the case.

Friday morning, the sheriff’s office set up a road check near the home, hoping to speak with someone who might have been in the area the same time a week prior either before, during or right after the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 770-461-6353 or Investigator Josh Shelton at 770-716-4777.

The initial 911 call went to Fulton County, and Fulton County, Fairburn and Tyrone police initially responded to the scene to assist the sheriff’s office, Rowan said.

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