While Macon police met with Bibb County prosecutors Tuesday afternoon, members of Lauren Giddings’ family searched along the Ocmulgee River in hopes of finding more of her remains.
Giddings’ funeral is scheduled for Saturday in her home state of Maryland. Authorities released her remains to her family last week.
Tuesday afternoon, representatives from the Macon police, the FBI and the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office met for more than an hour about Giddings’ slaying. Late that night, Giddings' neighbor and Mercer University law school classmate Stephen McDaniel, 25, was charged in her killing.
Macon Police Chief Mike Burns wanted a “face-to-face collective review of the evidence from each office,” according to a brief statement issued after the meeting.
District Attorney Greg Winters and Police Maj. Charles Stone declined to comment as they left the meeting. Authorities released no specific information about what was discussed.
Police discovered Giddings’ dismembered torso in a garbage bin June 30 outside her Georgia Avenue apartment building.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, wading in the bath-water warm, summertime flow of the Ocmulgee River, a Giddings family member from Georgia searched along the bank and sifted sunken debris for any signs of the 27-year-old’s strewn remains.
The family members were joined by Fred Golba of Massachusetts-based Coast to Coast K9 Service. Golba said he’s taken part in searches at The World Trade Center following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and for Natalee Holloway, an Alabama 18-year-old who vanished in Aruba in 2005.
Golba, who dove underwater wearing a scuba mask and fins at times, said Giddings’ family found him on the Internet and requested his help. He said he volunteered his services, searching both in the water and on land using a search dog.
Golba’s search with Giddings’ family members started Monday morning. It was undetermined Tuesday how long they would continue the search, he said.
Tuesday afternoon, one of Giddings’ relatives tromped through water that was at times waist deep, searching for plastic trash bags that might contain severed body parts.
He didn’t want his name printed, but with a golf club-- a six-iron to poke at trash and whack snakes -- he scoured the riverbed between the Spring Street boat ramp and the Otis Redding Memorial Bridge for hours, hoping to find some trace of the slain Mercer law school graduate.
Although police searched along the river in the days after Giddings’ body was discovered, officers didn’t search in the water, Burns said Tuesday.
“We were told due to the current that everything would be downstream,” he said.
Burns said Giddings’ family contacted police before the search and that police don’t object to their efforts.
The search comes weeks after authorities hunted for disposed-of body parts at both the Macon and Twiggs County landfills.
Giddings’ Barristers Hall apartment is located across Georgia Avenue from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law from which she graduated in May.
Police haven’t released results of FBI testing being performed on more than 200 pieces of evidence related to the case.
Burns has said police have received results from some of the evidence, but the department hasn’t divulged information about the findings.
He did say that items from the apartment complex’s laundry room, as well as clothing, carpet samples and trace evidence are among the pieces of evidence being analyzed.
The FBI has been involved in the case because the agency has a special team that’s dispatched when something happens near a college campus, Burns said.
McDaniel, Giddings’ neighbor, remained in the Bibb County jail Tuesday on two counts of burglary unrelated to the homicide investigation.
Burns said Tuesday that McDaniel hasn’t said much to investigators, but he volunteered information about condoms allegedly stolen from other apartments during early police questioning.
McDaniel is scheduled to appear at a bond hearing Thursday on the burglary charges.