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Authorities identify bodies found under bridge overpass as stepsisters, rule deaths homicide

The bodies of Trevena Clarece Campbell and Vanita Richardson were found under a bridge, Wednesday. The GBI is treating the case as a homicide.

ROME, Ga. — The names of two women found dead under a north Georgia bridge have been released a day after the gruesome discovery was made.

The Rome Police Department called the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to help with the case, after the bodies of Trevena Clarece Campbell and Vanita Richardson were found under Etowah Bridge at Loop 1 near Rome, Georgia.

According to the GBI, the victims were 19 and 31 years old. A family friend confirmed that the two were stepsisters.

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Richardson, according to school officials, was scheduled to graduate next Saturday from Armuchee High school.

In a statement from the Floyd County Schools, the district said the loss of Richardson has shaken their community:

"We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the news of the death of one of our students, Vanita Richardson who was scheduled to graduate next Saturday. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Armuchee Community and her friends and family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Vanita will be remembered for being a fun-loving, humble, and motivated student who was making strong plans for her future.  

Even throughout the school closures, Vanita's passing is felt by all. In particular, the staff members whose lives she touched with her caring personality and big heart."

Credit: Provided
Vanita Richardson

The district said that an Armuchee High School social worker and counselor will be available for virtual grief and loss counseling sessions for students. Those who are interested should email them directly.

The GBI said they are treating the deaths of Richardson and Campbell as a homicide. There are still several unanswered questions about their deaths, including how long the victims were there at the bridge. The GBI said in an update that its medial examiner has completed an autopsy for the two, though the cause of death has not yet been released.

A friend of the family told 11Alive the victims' family are meeting with investigators to drum up more leads.

Meanwhile, the GBI is asking for anyone who was traveling in the area between Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 11 a.m., who may have witnessed anything, to come forward with any information. They are asked to call 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).

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