published Friday, March 18th, 2011

Ohio woman found in Georgia died of blunt force trauma

  • photo
    This undated picture released by the FBI shows 84-year-old Richard Russell and his 85-year-old wife, Gladis. Sam Littleton was charged in absentia with murder Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 after the body of his girlfriend's 26-year-old daughter was found in the basement of a home he shared with her mother. Police also want to question him about the disappearance of the Russells, who haven't been heard from since Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/FBI)

ATLANTA — Authorities say an elderly Ohio woman whose body was found earlier this month near a Georgia cotton field died of blunt force trauma.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Friday announced the cause of death for 85-year-old Gladis Russell. GBI says Russell's body will likely be returned to Ohio next week.

The body of Russell's husband, 84-year-old Richard Russell, was found in late February in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Samuel K. Littleton II is suspected in the couple's disappearance.

Littleton, 37, has been charged in the stabbing death of his girlfriend's 26-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the basement of the home in Bellefontaine, Ohio he had purchased from the Russells in 2009.

Littleton was arrested in February in Princeton, W.Va. He hasn't been charged in the Russells' disappearance.

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