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Reward rises in slaying case
Police continue search for suspect in death of Thomson woman; custody battle rages on over son

The reward for the killer of Robin Reeves of Thomson approached $11,000 last week, black ribbons showed up on more mailboxes and police pursued leads and waited for the final crime lab reports.

We're still pursuing a number of different leads at this point, and some possibilities have been eliminated,'' said Special Agent Mike Seigler of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Ms. Reeves, 35, was stabbed to death Feb. 27 at her Gordon Street residence after returning home from a church social. There was no sign of forced entry, and police have not found a weapon. Her toddler son, Joseph Reeves Standridge, was in the house during the slaying. He was found in his crib the next morning by Ms. Reeves' mother, Faye Reeves, who went to the house to check on her daughter.

Faye Reeves went to court to gain custody of Joseph by filing a petition for change of custody against Robert Standridge, her daughter's former husband and Joseph's father. She contends Mr. Standridge is not a fit or proper person to have custody of the child.

On March 26, McDuffie Superior Court Judge Roger Dunaway Jr. ordered that Joseph be taken from Mr. Standridge's parents' home in Dearing, where the Department of Family and Children's Services had placed him, and returned temporarily to the custody of DFCS. However, DFCS officials have left Joseph with the Standridges, said Mrs. Reeves' lawyer, Jimmy D. Plunkett.

``I got a letter from the judge this week,'' he said last week. ``Basically, he said he had placed the child with DFCS and that DFCS could place the child wherever. They felt comfortable with Mr. Standridge's parents. Basically, he's still living there in the house too.''

The judge had ordered that DFCS monitor any visits between Joseph and Mr. Standridge.

``That's what they're calling monitored,'' Mr. Plunkett said. ``They're not supervised, they're monitored.''

Therefore, the arrangement satisfied DFCS, he said.

Ms. Reeves and Mr. Standridge were divorced in September. In the seven months before the killing, Ms. Reeves, whose maiden name was restored the day before she was slain, kept a 28-page journal recounting Mr. Standridge's harassment of her and her boyfriend. The journal, obtained from Martin Moses, agent in charge of the GBI's Thomson office, is part of the custody case file at the McDuffie County Courthouse.

Three Thomson police officers and McDuffie County Probate Judge Albert E. Wells also gave affidavits documenting the harassment.

Ms. Reeves had a temporary protective order against Mr. Standridge, and a restraining order was in the final divorce decree.

Police questioned Mr. Standridge the day Ms. Reeves' body was found and have determined he had an alibi for the hours during which police say the killing occurred.

Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call the Thomson Police Department or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

From the April 9, 2001 print edition of The Augusta Chronicle.

Web posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2004

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