Lauren Giddings Investigation Timeline

5:50 PM, Aug 3, 2011   |    comments
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The last time anyone saw Lauren Giddings alive was on Saturday, June 25.

SLIDESHOW: Stephen McDaniel August 3rd Hearing

When friends became concerned after not hearing from her for days, they reported her missing to police in the early hours of Thursday, June 30.

Police arrived at Giddings' Georgia Avenue apartment later that morning and made a gruesome discovery.

They went to the Barristers Hall apartment complex to look for a missing person, 27-year-old law school grad Lauren Giddings.

But what they found was a body, in fact, just a torso in the garbage can outside the apartment.

That afternoon, Chief Burns confirmed it was a homicide investigation. 

At the scene, we talk to Giddings' neighbor and classmate, 25-year-old Stephen McDaniel, now charged with her murder.

McDaniel had said, "the police were called last night and they came. They looked around and didn't see anything. They went in, we looked around the place. No sign of struggle, no sign that anyone had broken in. Nothing. She was just gone, all of her stuff was there. Her ID was there, her wallet was there, but she was just gone."

Police search McDaniel's apartment that day.

And early the next morning, July 1, they arrest him for what police call an unrelated burglary charge. A second charge is added at his court appearance, and his bond is revoked before he could walk free.

Chief Burns then tells 13WMAZ that Stephen McDaniel as a person of interest in the investigation.

Hours later, police hold a news conference and say they're treating Lauren Giddings as the homicide victim,  but don't have a positive
ID yet. 

Burns said, "the location is the main thing plus the length of time she's been missing and we've got some other things that I just can't discuss right now."

On Saturday, July 2, the Macon and Mercer communities start a memorial to Lauren at her apartment complex.

The next day, police remove more evidence from her apartment. 

On July 6, Burns said, "today we want to say we did get a positive match, a DNA positive match. I want to ask the public for help in this case, the victim was dismembered."

July 7th, Giddings' parents start removing her things from her apartment and they say they've been living a nightmare.

A day later, search dogs are back at the scene looking for clues.

On July 9, more than 500 people attend a memorial service to honor Lauren Giddings at her parish church, St. Joseph's.

The night of the 12th, police return to search Stephen McDaniel's apartment, and they carry out large brown bags.

The following day, Chief Burns says discussions with the FBI led them back to the apartment.

He said, "as we get more clues or learn of more evidence, if we have to go back to the apartment or go elsewhere, that's what we're going to do."

Stephen McDaniel's lawyer then asks a judge to disqualify the Bibb DA's office from prosecuting the burglary case because McDaniel interned for the DA.

On July 14, police confirm to 13WMAZ that McDaniel had a master key to the apartment complex.

July 20, police search Stephen McDaniel's apartment again, carrying out a large storage bin.

On July 22, McDaniel appears before a judge, who rules that the Bibb DA can handle the burglary case.

July 27, four weeks into the investigation with rumors spreading around Macon, Chief Burns holds a news conference to de-bunk them. 

He said, "we're not hiding any bodies, there's no serial killer on the loose, we haven't found any murdered bodies in the river, it's all rumors."

And six days later, after a closed door meeting between the district attorney and police chief, McDaniel was charged with felony murder. 


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