CEDARTOWN, GEORGIA - Update:The two suspects in the homicide of a pizza delivery person are in the Polk County Jail on murder charges while investigators continue to look for a motive, according to officials.
Cadedra Cook, 18, of 229 Thompson St., Cedartown, and a 15-year-old male juvenile were apprehended around noon on a field on the property of the Old Hale Manufacturing Building on Lafayette Street, according to officials.
“We had been one step behind them most of the night,” Cedartown Police Department Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome said. “We were finally able to catch up to them.”
The two are charged in the brutal stabbing and bludgeoning death of Elizabeth Hutcheson, 27, of Cedartown, while she was making a delivery for Domino’s Pizza to the home.
Newsome said he is pleased the two suspects were caught within a day after the homicide. He credits good teamwork with all law enforcement agencies for quickly finding them.
“It was just cooperative police work,” he said. “Without the help of the GBI and the U.S. Marshall’s to a small department like ours, it would have been hard on us,” he said.
The CPD also had assistance from the Polk County Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon said 12 of his people were involved in the search and at least seven from the U.S. Marshall’s Service were on the scene also.
“We were asked to assist. We came. We helped out,” McLendon said.
Newsome said the investigation into the slaying is still open.
Police confirmed a telephone pizza order was placed at Domino’s shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday. Hutcheson was the delivery person sent.
Newsome said the suspects fled on foot.
Police officers found Hutcheson around 9:15 p.m. bleeding in the doorframe of Cook’s residence while on a routine traffic stop. She had been stabbed multiple times and was pronounced dead at Polk Medical Center, according to officials.
Newsome said each suspect is currently charged with one murder charge. However, he said that could change as the investigation is completed.
“There will probably be more charges,” Newsome said.
The motive is still a mystery.
Newsome said money was taken from Hutcheson in the incident, but the amount was so little that he couldn’t see that as being the sole motive.
“When I saw everything, it didn’t add up to me,” he said.
However, Newsome said the investigation hasn’t confirmed his “gut feeling,” so he wasn’t going to speculate. He said it couldn’t be determined at this point whether the killing was premeditated.
Newsome said nothing has been able to confirm or deny that Hutcheson knew Cook or the juvenile.
He also said he can’t confirm the juvenile was the same boy involved in Cook’s arrest in March.
She was charged with interference with child custody and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in that incident, according to jail records.
Cook hasn’t gone to court on those charges, records indicate.
Newsome said Cook had not appeared to be violent in previous police interactions.
“This would be out of the ordinary for her,” he said.
Newsome said he personally told Hutcheson’s mother, who lives in Cedartown, the news of the suspects’ capture.
“She was very emotional and very appreciative of the efforts,” he said. “We had a very emotional visit with her.”
The rest of Hutcheson’s family is also from Cedartown, he said. That includes a boyfriend and a four-year-old girl.
Hutcheson was a 2003 graduate of Cedartown High School and a 2011 graduate of Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rome, according to her Facebook page.
Newsome is meeting for a debriefing with law enforcement this afternoon to decide how to proceed with the investigation.
He has also been talking throughout the night and morning with Polk County District Attorney Bobby Brooks,
Brooks, who came to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office after being informed the suspects had been apprehended, said he hasn’t decided whether to try the juvenile as an adult.
That decision will be made later after the investigation in completed, he said.
Update:Ken McIntyre, vice president of communication for Domino’s Pizza said during an interview that the corporation was informed of the stabbing last night.
“We were horrified. An innocent person losing her life is just beyond words,” McIntyre said. “Are prayers go with the family.”
McIntyre said Domino’s was grateful that the police were able to respond so quickly in the capture of the suspects.
When asked about the risk to employees delivering pizza McIntyre said Domino’s gives training programs to its employees and takes preventative measures in order to lessen the risk of violent encounters such as limiting the amount of money drivers carry.
“We have been delivering pizzas for 52 years, and there’s a lot we do, but what we can’t do is eliminate evil,” McIntyre said.
Update:The suspects were captured around noon Friday, according to Newsome.
The suspects were found near Thompson and Lafayette streets, according to police.
Previously reported:A pizza delivery worker was killed Thursday night while making a delivery at 229 Thompson Street, Cedartown, according to officials.
The two suspects remain at large, police said.
Elizabeth Hutcheson, 27, was found by police around 9:15 p.m. bleeding in the doorway of the Thompson Street home, according to Cedartown Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome. Hutcheson suffered multiple stab wounds and had been bludgeoned, he said.
She was pronounced dead at Polk Medical Center.
“It’s been 15 to 18 years since we’ve had a something this violent,” Newsome said.
Newsome said police believe the suspects, Cadedra L. Cook, 18, of the residence, and a 15-year-old juvenile ordered a pizza from Domino’s and they killed Hutcheson when she delivered it.
Murder warrants have been issued for both, but police have not yet found either.
Police do not have a motive and do not know if drugs were involved, he said.
“I feel rather confident we know what happened. We don’t know why,” Newsome said.
He said police discovered Hutcheson by chance just moments after the attack.
“Cedartown police was working a traffic stop in the 100 block of Thompson Street and officers heard frantic screaming,” he said. “They could tell it was something serious so they abandoned the traffic stop to go find it.”
Newsome said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has assisted the city in the case from the beginning and Cedartown is also receiving help from the Polk County Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Neighbors to 229 Thompson St. said they are shocked at the brutal killing of a pizza deliver person Thursday night.
“I can’t sleep. I have to go to work, but I’ve been up all night,” one neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
“It’s just a shock that it happened so close to home,” another neighbor, who also didn’t want to be identified, said.
One said she saw police lights when Cedartown officers made a traffic stop on the street, just 50 feet from where Elizabeth Hutcheson, 27, was killed.
“I came out on the porch. Police had a car pulled over and then I heard someone screaming for help,” she said.
“They walked up there and she was laying halfway in the house, half on the porch.”
No one said they saw the attack where Hutcheson was stabbed multiple times and bludgeoned to death.
Police are still looking for Cadedra Cook, 18, and a 15-year-old juvenile suspected in the attack.
No motive has been determined and police are not speculating on whether the brutal slaying was premeditated.
Polk County Jail reports indicate that Cook, who was living at 1019 Jones St., Cedartown, was arrested March 19 on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and interference with custody.
It is unknown whether the minor in that case is the same one suspected in Thursday’s homicide.
She was released on bond March 20.
Cook’s Facebook page stated she was originally from Marietta and had ties to Aragon and had more than 200 virtual friends. It also lists her as a Rockmart High School graduate and married.
Domino’s Pizza was supposed to open at 11 a.m. on Friday, but remained closed, locked with opening lights off. Although four cars were parked on the lot, no one was in the building.
Calls made to the local franchise owner and to Domino’s corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., have not yet been returned.