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Good, old-fashioned police work led to arrests in fatal hit and run

By Walter Geiger Shortly after they found the body of hit and run victim Alexandra Desir on Rose Avenue just before midnight June 29, investigators found the piece of evidence that would lead them to the two people subsequently arrested in connection with the case. That piece of evidence was the turn signal/parking light assembly from the vehicle that struck and killed Desir. Investigators took the assembly to Curry’s Collision Center in Griffin where it was determined it came from a Saturn Vue from the year models 2002 2005. ‘We then did an off line search on GCIC for cars registered in Lamar and surrounding counties that matched the description. There were 141 of them,’ noted Major Craig Cooper of the Barnesville Police Department. One of those was registered to 40-year-old Bobbie Jo Sumner who lived on Rogers Circle and worked at the Marathon Station at the corner of College Dr. and Veterans Pkwy. ‘We didn’t have a hit on Rogers Circle because she had recently moved there. The car was registered at another address,’ Cooper continued. Investigators did phone Sumner who claimed her ex-boyfriend, Robert King of 2175 Old Atlanta Rd. in Griffin had the Saturn. In fact, it was hidden behind her Rogers Circle home. ’This was the only one of the 141 cars someone hadn’t laid eyes on so Capt. David Knight of the Lamar sheriff’s office went to the King home July 1 and the car was not there. King told him Sumner had the car at the Rogers Circle residence,’ Cooper continued. Sumner’s home was checked the next morning and the car was not there. Capt. Knight revisited the King residence, checked a shop and found the vehicle with the damaged front end. King was arrested and the car was processed by agents of the GBI. ’˜’We think they thought we wouldn’t go back to the King place,’ Cooper added. Sumner was subsequently arrested. She told investigators she hit Desir, panicked and fled. Sumner is charged with first degree vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, making false statements and tampering with evidence. Her bond was set at $21,000 in a magistrate court hearing late on July 3. She made bond and was released that night. King was charged with hindering the apprehension of a criminal, tampering with evidence, making false statements and obstruction of an officer. He was booked into the Spalding County jail. He made bond and was released July 5. The Barnesville Police Department extended a statement of appreciation to all the agencies who assisted in the investigation. Sheriff Brad White called the arrest a combined effort of the BPD, Lamar S.O., Spalding S.O. and the Georgia State Patrol. Cooper also praised the staff at Curry’s Collision Center for their help in tracing the suspect vehicle.

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