A Thomson woman found dead in a lake Saturday died from strangulation, authorities said Monday.
Barbara Hefner, 53, of Whiteoak Road, might have been choked to death at her home and then dropped into Folly Lake off Interstate 20, where she was discovered Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Barbara Hefner: Thomson resident was found dead in Folly Lake on Saturday.
The cause of death was determined during a weekend autopsy at the State Crime Lab in Atlanta, where officials were also examining other physical evidence, said Agent Mike Seigler, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
GBI officials are assisting the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office in the county's first homicide of the year. Investigators returned to the victim's home Monday to search for clues and collect evidence, Agent Siegler said.
Sheriff Logan Marshall said investigators were still working leads and pursuing the case.
Ms. Hefner's brother reported her missing Saturday morning when she did not show up to go shopping with a friend. There was evidence someone had entered the victim's home, where she lived alone, and ransacked her bedroom.
Relatives received friends Monday night at Curtis Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at New Hope Baptist Church. Ms. Hefner was a material manager at Augusta Coating and Manufacturing Co. and is survived by two daughters and five siblings.
Morris News Service reports were used in this article.
Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.