Woman charged after mom’s remains found buried behind Augusta home

Melissa Lockhart
Melissa Lockhart(Richmond County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - An Augusta woman has been charged after her mother’s remains were discovered in a shallow grave in the backyard of a Tobacco Road home.

Melissa Lockhart, 43, was charged with concealing a death on Sunday, according to arrest records. She’s also charged with a state court bench warrants and a probation violation.

On the night of June 3, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a “suspicious situation” at a home on the 1700 block Tobacco Road.

When on the scene, deputies met with the suspect, who had injuries to her body including a broken right knee, according to an incident report by the Sheriff’s Office. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Further investigation led deputies to discover a recently dug grave in the home’s backyard which contained a female’s body.

Melissa reportedly identified the body to authorities as her 67-year-old mother, Miriam Lockhart. Both of them lived at the residence, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect told authorities that she found her mother deceased in bed between May 31 and June 1. She said she did not contact police because she didn’t want anyone to “cut” (perform an autopsy) on her mother, the incident report reads.

The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment but was booked into the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Sunday, according to jail records.

The victim’s body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy.

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