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1-year-old girl at center of Amber Alert found dead, mom killed, grandmother shot

1-year-old girl at center of Amber Alert found dead, mom killed, grandmother shot
Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 8:09 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The 1-year-old girl at the heart of an an Amber Alert in Newton County has died, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities say 38-year-old Darian Bennett shot and killed his baby’s mother before kidnapping their 1-year-old daughter Saturday night in Covington. They say Bennett then shot and killed the baby and himself in a wooded area behind a church in Riverdale Sunday morning.

Riverdale police said they found Bennett’s car parked in front of First United Methodist Church at the corner of Riverdale Drive and Adams Drive but no one was inside.

When officers arrived, they heard gunshots behind the building.

According to investigators both 1-year-old Jaquari Bennett and her father Darian were found shot to death near a gazebo in the woods.

Location where 1-year-old Jaquari Bennett and father Darian found shot to death
Location where 1-year-old Jaquari Bennett and father Darian found shot to death (WGCL)

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office identified the mother who was shot and killed as 38-year-old Keashawn Washington. Police say the grandmother who was also shot but survived is 63-year-old Peggy Burns.

Nearby neighbors were shocked and devastated when they heard the tragic news.

“I would’ve never believed this would happen. This is a quiet neighborhood,” said Sylvia McLurkin.

“Just 48 Hours ago, she was sitting right there, baby in her hand, talking about the kids, chunk chunk she called her,” said another neighbor Frederick McLurkin. “I hear about him. When she tells me how rude he is. Nasty.”

Burns is still in the hospital, according to police.

“I had a gut feeling last night that this was the way this was going to end,” said Newton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jack Redlinger. “It’s a shot in the gut. We’ve been working all night long trying to locate him. We were hoping it would end differently. You know, all of us have children and we’re still reeling this morning from what happened.”

The mother’s two other children, ages 11 and 12 who were inside the home during the incident and called 911 were picked up by their uncle Saturday night.

ORIGINAL STORY:

An Amber Alert has been issued for a 1-year-old girl who authorities say was abducted and is in extreme danger.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Jaquari Bennett was taken from her home in Newton County around 11 p.m. Saturday by her father 38-year-old Darian Javaris Bennett.

Authorities told CBS46 Madeline Montgomery that Darian followed his baby’s mother to her house, shot her in the head and killed her. He then allegedly shot her grandmother.

The grandmother was flown to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition.

Two other children, ages 11 and 12 who were inside the home during the incident, called 911.

Authorities said Darian was last seen at 95 Chandler Field Drive in Covington and believed to be traveling in a 2000 black Honda Accord with Georgia tag RGK4146

Jaquari is described as a black female with brown eyes and black hair.

Darian Bennett is described as 6-feet-4-inches tall and weighs 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

The U.S. Marshall’s Office is assisting the GBI and Newton County Sheriff’s Office with the search to find the child.

If you have any information about this incident or the whereabouts of Jaquai Bennett, contact 911 or Newton County Sheriff’s Office at 706-717-9915.