Crime

‘She was trying to help somebody,’ neighbor says of slain woman in Warner Robins

Warner Robins homicide crime scene stretches down block

Warner Robins police investigate the shooting death of Natasha Alexandra Reyes at 641 Maplewood Dr. but the crime scene stretches down the street and around the corner.
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Warner Robins police investigate the shooting death of Natasha Alexandra Reyes at 641 Maplewood Dr. but the crime scene stretches down the street and around the corner.

A Warner Robins woman known by neighbors as “such a nice person” was fatally shot Tuesday night.

At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to the 600 block of Maplewood Drive near the corner of Feagin Mill Road, according to a Facebook post from the Warner Robins Police Department.

Officers found 29-year-old Natasha Alexandra Reyes dead with multiple gunshot wounds inside a duplex where she was living recently with her mother at 641 Maplewood, neighbors say.

She had intended to move back with her husband this weekend, said those living nearby.

HelmsMug.jpg
Rodney Wayne Helms

Rodney Wayne Helms, 38, was taken into custody at about 10 p.m. Tuesday near the EZ Food Mart at 516 Feagin Mill Road and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in her death, a Warner Robins police news release stated.

Mario Rumph, whose family has owned the house next door for about 30 years, said he heard an argument about a gun just before the shooting started.

“It was overkill,” Rumph said as the woman was shot multiple times, including head wounds.

“It was like Gunsmoke over here,” Rumph’s father said. “It’s real tragic. She’s such a nice person. ... She was trying to help somebody.”

In recent days, Helms, who is homeless according to jail records, was around the neighborhood bumming for cigarettes, the Rumphs said.

Reyes often would sit outside her mother’s front door where a couple of plastic lawn chairs backed up to the front of the house, they said.

When it started drizzling Tuesday evening, they went inside, Rumph said.

What appeared to be a near empty bottle of Crown Royal whiskey was left on the front stoop. A piece of red evidence tape was fastened on the door frame to ensure the crime scene wasn’t tampered with.

“At this time officers do not believe this was a random incident,” the Warner Robins police Facebook post stated.

Police later said they believe armed robbery was the motive.

Mario Rumph said Reyes met Helms earlier that day.

Rumph noted this was the second killing on his street in about a year.

About 14 months ago, 23-year-old Curtis Thomas, of Warner Robins, was fatally shot on the same street.

Wednesday morning, evidence markers placed near the corner of Feagin Mill Road indicate the gunfire might have continued outside Reyes’ house as Helms allegedly ran away toward the store.

When asked if anyone else fired shots or pursued Helms, Warner Robins police spokeswoman Jennifer Parson would only say that the incident is still under investigation.

Helms’ jail booking photo shows he has a blackened and swollen left eye.

“He had injuries when we made contact with him so how he got those injuries is still under investigation,” Parson stated in a text to The Telegraph.

According to Bibb County Superior Court records, Helms pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats in 2004 after he was accused of using a knife to terrorize his girlfriend.

He was sentenced to three years on probation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.

Telegraph writer Joe Kovac Jr. contibuted to this report.

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