Missing Woman’s Body Was In Her Car In Altamaha River; Foul Play Deemed Probable
JESUP — The body of a woman missing since March 26 was found Saturday in her car that was submerged in the Altamaha River at Upper County Landing, which is off Arnold River Drive, said Wayne County Sheriff John Carter.
At about 2 p.m. Saturday, Carter said, the car was located and the body of Willie Joe Vaughn, 74, who was reported missing on Thursday, March 26, was found inside.
“The body has been sent to the State Crime Lab for an autopsy, but we do suspect foul play,” said Carter. “We are not sure how or when she died but from the condition of the body she may have been dead the entire time we were searching for her. The body was not in the best shape. This is a heinous crime for sure. We hope to have something more by late this afternoon.”
Carter said that after investigators received a tip that the car was in the river at that location, a sheriff department dive team entered the water and found the vehicle and the body.
Carter said Vaughn’s daughter, Eugenia Schell, 47, and her boyfriend, Christopher Pearce, 49, remained in jail here this morning on charges of giving police false information. They were arrested last week.
“We are still investigating this case and are continuing to follow leads. One lead leads to another,” said Carter. “And now finding her body just gives us another chapter.”
Vaughn had previously taken out a restraining order against Schell, according to law enforcement information.
Carter extended his condolences and prayers to the family of Vaughn. He said two daughters other than Schell survive the mother.