A random carjacking led to the abduction and murder of 38-year-old Kimberly McKenzie whose body was found about 1:15 p.m. Sunday in a grassy area off Feagin Road in south Bibb County, authorities said.
The abduction of the single mother from Centerville likely took place in Warner Robins and the homicide in Bibb County, said Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig at a news conference Sunday night at the Centerville Police Department.
“We offer our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the family of Ms. McKenzie,” Hartwig said. “We know it’s a difficult time for them.”
Alexandria Renee Scott, 19, of Macon, and Justin Terrell Grable, 21 of Macon, were charged Sunday night with felony murder in connection with McKenzie’s slaying, said Bibb County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean DeFoe
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McKenzie, who has a teenaged son, was last heard from about 7 p.m. Wednesday when she was driving around the Warner Robins and Centerville area looking for a business to do her taxes, said Centerville police Chief Sid Andrews. McKenzie had talked to a friend and her sister on her cell phone while in the car.
Her sister, Betsy McKenzie, told investigators she overheard a male voice say, “Get in the back seat. Get in the back seat.” The phone then went dead, Andrews said. The last ping to the cell phone was from a tower in Macon near the Houston County line about the same time, Andrews said.
Macon police found McKenzie’s blue, four-door 1995 Honda Accord abandoned at the intersection of Key Street and Eisenhower Parkway late Wednesday night. Macon police were dispatched to an accident with no injuries at the intersection about 11 p.m. but instead found the abandoned car.Her body was found in the field Sunday afternoon after the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a person, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.
“She had been shot in the back,” Jones said by telephone Sunday.
Hartwig said authorities believe that McKenzie was likely killed in “the immediate area” of where her body was found.
The autopsy is expected to be conducted Monday at the GBI crime lab in Macon, Hartwig said. He said the autopsy is expected to confirm the cause and manner of death and determine whether she was shot more than once.
The investigation into the McKenzie’s abduction and murder has involved multiple law enforcment agencies, including Centerville police, the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Warner Robins and Macon police, Bibb and Houston sheriff’s offices, and the Georgia State Patrol’s aviation unit. Authorities also received tips from the public.
Macon police canvassed the area where the car was recovered, followed leads and shared information with Centerville police, and created a flier for distribution to investigators and patrol officers, according to a Macon police news release. Warner Robins police processed the car. The car had wreck damage but that the damage did not happen where the car was found. He said family members told police that the car had no damage before McKenzie disappeared.
A Georgia State Patrol helicopter was used Friday to survey the area where the car was found, as well as over McKenzie’s mobile home off South Cambridge Drive where she lived with her son, Andrews said. McKenzie’s mother lives about a block away in the same mobile home park on Ridgewood Drive. Neighbors described McKenzie as a nice person.
Centerville police officers have worked around-the-clock since McKenzie disppeared, Hartwig noted.
“We basically treated Ms. McKenzie like she was a family member of ours,” Andrews said.
Anyone with information related to McKenzie’s abduction and murder is asked to contact Centerville police detective Sgt. Chuck Hadden at 953-4222 or Bibb County sheriff's investigators at 621-6801.
Staff Writer Shelby Spires contributed to this article. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.