Ga. murder suspect with local ties killed mother

Published 12:04 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

VIDALIA — One of the apparent victims of a double-homicide in Georgia for which a man with local roots has been charged is reportedly his mother.

Cody Lee Vestal, 35, formerly of Waterproof and Concordia Parish, was arrested in a Tennessee hospital following the discovery of two bodies in rural Georgia earlier this week. The victims appeared to have been shot, law enforcement officials said.

Authorities had not previously released the victim’s identities, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had confirmed they were Vestal’s mother, Marilyn Laughlin, 60, and Anthony Poat, 52.

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A GBI spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Friday.

The victims were found at a residence in Union County, Ga., Monday after the Dayton, Tenn., Police Department contacted the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The Dayton police were following up a call from the Rhea Medical Center in Dayton after Vestal was admitted there for treatment.

Authorities have not shared why Vestal was admitted to the hospital.

The vehicle Vestal had reportedly driven to the Dayton hospital was registered to the address in Georgia where the bodies were found, and police reportedly found a gun in the vehicle.

Vestal was later transferred to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he was placed under arrest.

He was later extradited to the Union County jail.