Victims on phone with family minutes before they're murdered

News 12 at 11 / Sunday, December 29, 2013

LINCOLNTON, Ga. (WRDW) -- A man considered armed and dangerous is now off the streets of Lincoln County.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says 29-year-old Courtney Partlow was arrested around 8:30 tonight in Lincolnton.

After speaking with some of the victims' family, they say this was the one thing that would make them feel better.

It was a normal call to the scene of an accident Saturday morning until officers looked a little closer and discovered two people had been shot.

"I just don't see what the reason to kill both of them," one victim's cousin said.

At the scene, officers identified 27-year-old Lakendra Elam and 28-year-old Terrence Norman, both dead from gunshot wounds.

"They're just good people. It hurt me as family, but it's going to hurt everyone in Lincoln County," he said.

Sunday, the Sheriff's Office confirmed 29-year-old Courtney Partlow had been in the car behind the victims chasing them through Lincoln County.

"I witnessed them driving, them coming around. I saw him chasing them," the cousin said.

The woman's cousin, who is also Norman's best friend says he was on the phone with them while the chase was happening.

"I was talking to terrence on the phone, and I was saying 'Terrence, just drive to the police station. Make him follow y'all to the police station.' And his last word was, 'Ok, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna do that,' and then his phone went out," he said.

Those were the last words he'd ever have with his best friend. Now, he's trying to cope with the loss of two important people in his life.

"I knew Lakendra all my life. Me and Terrence been best friends since we were little, kindergarten, play sports together," he said.

But for a couple days, the only game was hide and seek as officers search for the man facing warrants for murder.

"We want to find closure. We hope they can find Courtney. That's the only thing that'll make me feel better," he said.

Partlow was arrested without incident in the small city of Lincolnton around 8:30 Sunday night. State Patrol, GBI, and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office were the leads in this case. They say they worked through the night gathering information and following leads and thank the public for their assistance.

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