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Officials: Escort service involved in Crawford case tied to similar crimes statewide

By Kay S. Pedrotti Suspects in the killing of Roderick Crawford of Barnesville are now in two county jails under charges including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and possession of firearms in the commission of a crime. Kiera Williams, 18, is incarcerated in Upson County, according to Upson sheriff Dan Kilgore. Alleged accomplice Cameron Jones is in the Clayton County detention facility, as is Ashanti Dorsey, arrested in connection with a similar crime in that county. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported in a press conference Monday that the three will likely face charges in other counties, and the ‘escort service’ for which Williams is alleged to have worked appears to be connected with similar crimes throughout Georgia. Law enforcement agencies involved now in the investigations and conference included Lamar County, Upson County, city of Thomaston, city of Forest Park and the Clayton County district attorney’s office. Crawford, 46, was reported by his wife as a missing person on Dec. 28. His car was found in Clayton County and ‘contained evidence’ related to the Crawford crime, according to GBI special agent Josh Ayer. Crawford’s body has been sent to the Region 2 GBI crime lab for autopsy, and results are pending, said Ayer. It has been determined, he said, that ‘Crawford was shot where he was found in Upson County.’ Ayer said that ‘teamwork’ led to the rapid finding and arrests of the suspects. If not for the quick work done by Lamar County Sheriff Brad White and investigator Shannon Williamson in putting together the information on the Crawford killing, Ayer said, ‘we would not be where we are today.’ Ayer said the suspects were apprehended by the Clayton sheriff’s department in an abandoned apartment in DeKalb County and transported first to Forest Park for interviews. Forest Park police sergeant Christopher Allwood spoke at the conference about a case handled on Dec. 21 involving Williams, Jones and Ashanti Dorsey, suspected of crimes connected to the same escort service. Allwood said the body of Mario Edwards of Newton County was found Dec. 21 after he had been reported missing Dec. 9. The sergeant added it was determined Edwards had been conversing with the escort service through its website. Williams allegedly met Edwards with her ‘boyfriend’ Jones and Ashanti Dorsey; Edwards was subsequently shot and killed. Allwood said Lamar County ‘made the connection with us that the Crawford killing might have involved the same escort service, and Lamar passed it on to the GBI.’ In another incident reported by Capt. Scott Stubbs, head of CCPD investigation division, police responded to a Riverdale location where two females, one of them Dorsey, had reportedly been shooting at each other. Dorsey survived and the other female did not, Stubbs said. Another Clayton incident also involved Jones and Williams and took place on Pointe South Parkway in Riverdale Jan. 1. Stubbs said a man had ‘met the suspect through social media’ and when he arrived at the parkway rendezvous, Williams got into the man’s car. Then, said Stubbs, the driver observed a male coming toward the car and suspected a robbery was about to take place. When the driver put his car in gear to drive away, Stubbs added, ‘the female shot him in a lower extremity.’ The man was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, said the captain. Both Ayer and Clayton County district attorney Tracy Graham Lawson were adamant that ‘specific details’ of the continuing investigations would not be revealed, including the name of the escort service, despite several questions asked by news personnel present.

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