By Joe Johnson
It’s been one month since a Statham woman died at her home under suspicious circumstances, but no one has been charged with her death because forensic tests have not yet been completed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s State Crime Lab, officials said.
According to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched at about 8:30 a.m. March 8 to the home of 36-year-old Brittnie Aaron Patterson’s home on Goldshore Way to investigate a neighbor’s report of seeing a blood trail that included footprints that led from Patterson’s driveway to the front door of her home.
After forcing their way into the home, deputies found Patterson’s lifeless body inside.
Sheriff Jud Smith said it appeared as though Patterson had been struck by a vehicle before dying inside her home. Her boyfriend, 46-year-old William Andrew Kinsey, also of Statham was subsequently arrested for reckless driving and causing serious injury with a motor vehicle.
However, whether Patterson’s death was the result of homicide or an accident remained undetermined as of Wednesday.
“We are investigating the incident and what occurred at the scene, which included the possibility the deceased female had injuries that could be consistent with being struck by a vehicle,” Smith said.
“I cannot control the Crime Lab and their delays,” the sheriff said. “We are at the mercy of their labs and what they give us. It is very hard to determine what happened without a cause of death which they have to determine.
“With a definite cause of death, it will determine if charges are to be brought based on what the DA’s office wants,” Smith said.
GBI Public Information Officer Nelly Miles confirmed that forensic testing in the Patterson death case was ongoing.
“In many cases, additional forensic tests have to be done so a month is not unusual at all,” she said.
About a week before a Kinsey was charged in connection with Patterson’s death, he had been released from jail after he had been arrested for violating a temporary protective order that a for different woman who was a former girlfriend had taken out against him, according to Winder Police Department and Barrow County Sheriff’s Office records.
On Feb. 12, a 31-year-old Statham woman filed a complaint against Kinsey because he allegedly was skirting a court-issued TPO by contacting the woman through third parties, according to a Winder police report.
While in Winder, the woman received a text message from an unknown phone number that stated, “Hey you should be nice to drew. He loves u.”
The woman reportedly told police that Kinsey was a former boyfriend who went by the name “Drew.”
She also said that customers regularly arrived at a store in Statham where she worked to deliver messages from Kinsey.
The police report indicates that no immediate action was taken because the text message was “relatively ambiguous" and the woman was unable to identify the people who delivered messages to her at her job from Kinsey.
According to the police report, additional investigation was needed to determine the owner of the phone from which the text message to the woman originated so that they could be questioned “regarding their interactions with Mr. Kinsey.”
The next day, on Feb. 13, Winder police arrested Kinsey for a felony TPO violation, according to Winder Police Chief Jim Fullington.
The Barrow County Detention Center’s website indicates that Kinsey was released from custody upon posting a $20,000 bond on Feb. 27.
Kinsey on Wednesday continued to be held without bail at the Barrow County Detention Center.