Female fugitive found hiding in Hiawassee home

Stephanie Hamilton

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Tuesday, July 9, Towns County Sheriff’s Office received information that a subject who was on the run and wanted on two warrants from several different locations was hiding out at a residence located in the area. Deputies, acting on the information received, searched a residence located on Michael’s Way in Hiawassee, and located a female suspect hiding in a closet within the residence.

The female was identified as Stephanie Elaine Hamilton, 40, of Hiawassee, Georgia.  Deputies confirmed that Hamilton was wanted on a total of six warrants.

 The warrants were out of Union, Fannin, and Rabun counties in Georgia, as well as one from Oconee County, South Carolina.

The warrants were theft related,  along with one probation warrant.  Deputies arrested Hamilton without incident.              

Arrest warrant served at Hiawassee residence connected to Hayesville human remains


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies and invesigators arrived at a residence off Bell Street in Hiawassee shortly before 6 pm, Saturday, June 2, to serve a Clay County, NC arrest warrant for Caleb Anthony Ellis, 17, of Hayesville, NC.

Caleb Ellis

Caleb Ellis

FYN learned that Ellis was taken into custody by authorities without incident on an out-of-state misdemeanor charge. Ellis was transported to Towns County Detention Center for processing, and is being held without bond.

Of interest is that the location where Ellis was apprehended was the residence a female subject was taken for questioning two days prior, following the discovery of human remains in Clay County. A second subject, Brett “Dakota” Wilson, fled the residence in question shortly before law enforcement arrived May 31. Wilson, 22, was located and arrested in Cherokee County, NC on prior  warrants, June 1.


Caleb Ellis

Towns County Sheriff’s Office, serving the warrant for Ellis’ arrest

While it is unknown if Ellis has been questioned in the case, and no suspects have yet been charged by authorities, Clay County Sheriff’s Office informed FYN that a person of interest has been identified. While law enforcement has confirmed the discovery of human remains, and deemed the death suspicious in nature, the victim’s identity has not been officially identified by officials.

FYN is awaiting a press release from Clay County Sheriff’s Office at this time.

UPDATED: Attempted murder suspect captured in Clay County

Crystal Carter

HAYESVILLE, NC – Towns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Crystal LeAnn Carter, an attempted murder suspect in a September shooting, was arrested Tuesday, April 16, in Clay County, NC.

On Saturday evening, Sept. 8, 2018, Towns County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Chatuge Regional Hospital in Hiawassee in reference to a male subject who was brought to the hospital with a bullet wound to the chest. The victim was identified as William Craig Henderson of Young Harris, GA. The victim was air lifted from Chatuge Regional Hospital to another medical facility with a trauma center. The victim remains in stable condition.

Crystal LeAnn Carter

Crystal LeAnn Carter

Towns County Sheriff’s Investigators were called to the hospital to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident. Upon investigating the incident, the investigators identified and secured warrants on Crystal LeAnn Carter for the following:

  • One Count of Attempted Murder
  • One Count of Aggravated Assault

Crystal Carter, upon dropping off the victim at Chatuge Regional Hospital, left driving the victim’s Chevrolet Tahoe. A lookout was placed on the Tahoe and the suspect. The vehicle was found abandoned Sept. 8, in the parking lot of the Marathon station on Highway 75 North in Hiawassee. Investigators determined that Carter left the Marathon station in a red Ford pickup that belonged to the suspect. Investigators, following leads Sept. 9, located the red Ford pickup at a residence in Clay County North Carolina.

Acting on yet another tip, Deputies of the Clay County Patrol Division returned to a residence that had been searched multiple times in the past. Carter was at the residence and taken into custody without incident.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) expressed their gratitude for the assistance of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in their “relentless efforts to finally bring a dangerous fugitive to justice.” This is just one more example of our two communities helping each other to keep the fine people of Clay and Towns Counties safe, Clay County Sheriff’s Office stated. Sheriff Deese said, “One of my goals was to develop and maintain the best of relationships between my office and all our neighboring law enforcement. The relationship between Clay and Towns County Sheriff’s Office is the best its ever been and I thank Sheriff Clinton and his staff for that.”

Carter is awaiting extradition to Towns County Detention Center. The GBI is leading the investigation.


UPDATED: Press Release from Clay County Sheriff’s Office

Hayesville, NC – (April 18, 2019) Clay County resident, Joe Tiger, has been charged with a Felony for his part in assisting GA fugitive, Crystal Carter. Clay County Deputies took Tiger into custody Thursday morning without incident as investigators executed a Search Warrant at his residence. Evidence of Crystal Carter’s crime was located and seized from inside Tiger’s home along with Carter’s personal property.

Law enforcement authorities from GA and NC had responded numerous times on tips of Carter’s presence at Tiger’s home. Authorities had spoken to Tiger on multiple occasions and advised him of Carter’s fugitive status.

Carter will be extradited to GA to answer for her 2018 crimes in Hiawassee. Tiger was given a $5000.00 unsecured bond and a 05/06/2019 court date in Clay County for his charges.

Suspect in Hiawassee stabbing charged with aggravated assault

Scott Barrett - Arrest

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Anthony “Scott” Barrett, the suspect involved in the Monday stabbing of Danny Gibson, has been charged with aggravated assault, Towns County Sheriff’s Office said. Additionally, Barrett is being held in Towns County Detention Center on a probation violation warrant out of Fannin County, GA.

On Monday, April 22, Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to investigate a report of a knife stabbing. Deputies, along with emergency medical services, responded to the Friendship Store located at the intersection of State Route 76 and State Route 288 in Hiawassee. Gibson, the victim, drove his truck to the store and requested the clerk to call 911.  The incident was reported to have occurred at a residence located nearby, off Cedar Cliff Road, east of the store.

Deputies responded to the location on Cedar Cliff Road and secured the residence. The house and surrounding area were searched for the suspect. Deputies discovered the suspect hiding in a Ford Explorer. Barrett was taken into custody without incident.

Gibson was transported by ambulance to Union General Hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening knife stab to the back.

The investigation is currently active and ongoing at this time. The case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Barrett is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Drug Task Force Officer Arrested


Jasper, Ga. – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and released reports for warrants and booking for one Charles Daniel Hamrick.

According to the Arrest Warrant, Hamrick is accused of using his position as a peace officer to convince a person to send nude and semi-nude photos to him. The offense violates his oath as a public officer.

The warrant alleges that Hamrick convinced a lady that she was a confidential informant for him and that she could have potential criminal charges brought against her. He then allegedly told her that he had destroyed her confidential informant file in return for the photos.

Having been arrested and booked on the charges, Hamrick has since paid a $1,000 bond and been released. As the official charge states Violation of Oath by Public Officer, it is charged as “a violation of the Oath taken by Hamrick as a Deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Deputy Commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force…”

Scam Alert – GBI’s Main Line (404-244-2600) Spoofed

Featured, News



Decatur, GA – Please be advised that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s main line (404-244-2600) has been compromised as a result of telephone spoofing.  This is a scam that the GBI has been dealing with for approximately one month.  When a telephone number is spoofed, the Caller ID of the caller will appear to be coming from a valid number.  In the cases specifically related to the GBI, the individual being called will see telephone number 404-244-2600.

In many of the phone calls, the caller has called home phones and cell phones stating that they are with the GBI collecting a debt with the IRS or collecting a debt for college and that there would be a warrant out for their arrest if they didn’t pay the fine.

The GBI does not contact individuals for debt collection.  If you get a call from anyone claiming to represent the GBI in this manner, you are urged not to conduct any business over the phone if you did not initiate the call.  Additionally, do not give credit card information out to someone who has called you.

The GBI is currently investigating this matter.

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