Authorities in Georgia have concluded their investigation into a perplexing set of fatal shootings that claimed the lives of three individuals — two close friends who were shot in front of their home office and a neighbor whose body was discovered days later, police announced on Thursday.
Columbus Police Detective Anthony Locey confirmed the closure of the case via email.
The decision has sparked frustration among the relatives of the victims, with both families expressing doubts about the investigation and stating they were never informed of the police department’s decision to officially close the case involving the deaths of Ronisha “Nikki” Anderson, 51, and Juantonja Richmond, 52, on March 7.
Solomon Adams, 51, resided next door to Anderson and was found deceased in his residence on March 9.
“It’s disheartening that we have two women who were senselessly murdered in broad daylight, and from the beginning of this inquiry, it has been plagued with problems and inconsistencies and a lack of attention,” remarked Brittany Anderson, Nikki Anderson’s niece.
“They didn’t even have the decency to inform the families that the case was closed,” she continued. “That’s not just distressing. That’s disrespectful.”
Andrionna Williams, a spokesperson for Richmond’s family, echoed similar sentiments, stating that her relatives had not received any notification.
“It’s extremely hard on them,” Williams added.
Neither Locey nor a police department spokesperson responded to further requests for comment. In a previous statement, the spokesperson mentioned that the department’s violent crimes unit was “working diligently to bring the case to a resolve and, more importantly, bring the victims’ families closure.”
Apart from a brief statement on Facebook, the police department has divulged little information about the case publicly.
According to the death certificate, Nikki Anderson, a mother of three, sustained a single gunshot wound to the head outside the home office where she managed billing for her ex-husband’s counseling practice. Richmond, a former Army sergeant who collaborated with Anderson, suffered gunshot wounds to the neck and chest, according to her autopsy.
Adams, a convicted sex offender who served over a decade in a Florida prison, sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, which may have been self-inflicted, according to a coroner’s report. Authorities have not disclosed further details about Adams’ demise, and it remains unclear whether it was deemed a suicide.
A deputy coroner discovered notes scattered around his residence, suggesting he may have been targeted by “an individual and or gang members.”
Anderson’s sister revealed to NBC News in December that the police department had intended to close the case and make an announcement about it after Jan. 1. Brittany Anderson mentioned that no announcement was made, and there was no follow-up with her family. She discovered that the case had been closed after emailing Locey on Jan. 22.
Locey had previously indicated to NBC News that he intended to release a statement on the case after the new year. However, he did not respond to a request for the release on Wednesday. He also did not reply to numerous requests for comment on the details that one of Nikki Anderson’s sisters, Therasa Anderson, claimed he provided about the shootings during a phone call in December.
According to Therasa Anderson, Locey suggested that Adams had “snapped” and killed the two women.
Locey referenced a witness who reported hearing gunfire and observing Adams in the front yard of the residence in an apparent panic, Therasa Anderson stated. Additionally, Locey pointed to Adams’ estranged wife, who informed authorities that Adams confessed to doing “something bad” after the shooting.
Relatives of Nikki Anderson have expressed skepticism regarding the motive, stating that she had a good relationship with Adams as neighbors. Investigators had previously informed the family that there were no witnesses to the shooting, according to Brittany Anderson. She mentioned that investigators informed her that a delivery driver who discovered their bodies had called 911.
During an interview last year, Adams’ estranged wife, Arimentha Adams, did not indicate that Solomon Adams had confessed to any wrongdoing. Shortly after the two women were killed, he requested her to contact authorities to come to his residence the following day, Arimentha mentioned, adding that she did not inquire further as they were separated.
Arimentha stated that someone from the Columbus Police Department later informed her that Solomon had no involvement in the shootings.