published Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Ohio woman’s remains may have been found in south Georgia

Investigators in South Georgia believe they may have found the body of an 85-year-old Ohio woman whom Chattanooga authorities searched for last week.

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    Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Tim Carroll shares the details of a male body found in Chattanooga last week. The body is that of an elderly Ohio man who disappeared along with his wife more than two weeks ago.

Police Chief Brad Kunze in Bellefontaine, Ohio, said Wednesday the department is working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and FBI to confirm whether the remains belong to Gladis Russell.

She and her 84-year-old husband, Richard, went missing Feb. 16 from their Bellefontaine home. Richard Russell’s body was discovered on Lightfoot Mill Road in Chattanooga on Feb. 26.

A farmer near Vienna, Ga., was working in a field Wednesday when he found the body of a “slightly built” woman lying in a cotton field near a sandy road.

Ohio authorities believe the couple was killed at their rural home by Samuel K. Littleton II, an acquaintance who bought a home from them. They believe he put their bodies in the trunk of their car and took off.

There was a brief pursuit by authorities in Valdosta, Ga., after Littleton was seen driving with no headlights. The officer made a mistake typing the car’s license plate into his patrol car’s computer, so it did not return a hit from the National Crime Information Center database.

Littleton later was arrested and charged with killing his girlfriend’s daughter in Ohio.

He has not been charged in the Russells’ deaths, although he told authorities that he placed Gladis Russell’s body in a “white, glowing cotton field,” according to Bellefontaine police.

After Richard Russell’s body was found in Chattanooga, local authorities spent a couple of days searching for Gladis Russell’s body around the city.

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