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Grisly murder investigation turns up hand
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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have teamed up with the Newton County Sheriff's Office in investigating the murder and dismemberment of an unidentified woman.

"Right now we are regrouping back at the office and are deciding on a game plan," said NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson.

A woman's severed arms, legs, feet and a single hand of were discovered in a wooded residential area off of Ga. Highway 212 early Tuesday morning.

 Since the initial call, investigators have only been able to locate the woman's other hand, Watterson said.

 From the body parts found thus far, investigators have been able to determine the victim was petite in size and either Hispanic or white. Watterson said the victim's fingerprints have been processed, but no matches were found in the system.

Investigators searched the area Wednesday using a grid pattern, but were unable to locate any further evidence. Dive teams were deployed Tuesday afternoon, but a search of the nearby lake revealed little.

The NCSO was first alerted to the situation at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning when a woman returning from work found her dogs fighting over what appeared to be a human foot. At first, the woman reportedly thought the foot was fake and possibly just part of Halloween prank. Once deputies arrived, a crime scene was established, but investigators could not begin a full search until daylight.

Watterson said the remains were found between the back of an unoccupied house and a small lake. Due to the lack of blood, investigators suspect the victim was actually murdered elsewhere. The body parts were described as "cleanly severed" and not badly decomposed.

"But so far, we just have theories," Watterson said. "Until we ID the victim, that's all we'll have."

Due to the personal and heinous nature of dismemberment, investigators are inclined to believe the victim knew her murderer. Due to the secluded nature of the area, Watterson also said the killer was probably somewhat familiar with the neighborhood, which is heavily wooded and cannot be seen from the highway.

While there are no missing persons reports in Newton or Henry counties matching the victim, investigators are checking restraining orders and other domestic cases, Watterson said. Because

The body parts recovered so far do not suggests a cause of death or if the victim was alive during the dismemberment.

Watterson said investigators would continue their enquiry at the crime scene until they were completely satisfied all avenues have been explored.

If you have information about this crime, please call the Newton County Sheriff's Office at (678) 625-1403. Tips may also be given anonymously at (678) 625-5007 or on their Web site