18-year-old college student identified as woman murdered, found in burning car

ATLANTA — Police told Channel 2 Action News an 18-year-old college student was murdered and found in her burning car in East Point on Jan. 9.

Police now want to find a man who used her debit card hours after Talya Torres' murder.

Channel 2's Tom Jones obtained surveillance video of the man arriving at the bank.

Someone dropped him off at the BB&T bank in the Camp Creek Marketplace, where he walked to an ATM and used Torres' card.

Police are hoping someone recognizes him.

"It's ridiculous because they didn't have to do this," the victim's mother, Pearlie Haynes, said.

Haynes can't understand who would be so cruel as to murder her daughter and leave her in her burning car.


"And just knowing that my baby was in it ... she was in there," Haynes said. "I just want her to say, 'Mommy.'"

Jones showed Haynes the distinctive shoes police said the person sought was wearing.

"The car went up at 1 a.m. and the card was used at 4 a.m.," Haynes said. "Somebody's gonna know those shoes. Somebody knows that person."

The man had on a backpack and detectives are trying to identify a badge he had on.

"It's taken a piece of my heart. It's taken my only daughter," Haynes said.

Haynes said her daughter had just moved out three days before she was murdered. Torres moved to midtown Atlanta to be closer to school.

Her mother now needs information to help police get closer to finding her daughter's killer.

"Somebody please help me find out who did this to my baby," Haynes said.

East point detectives want to hear from anyone who recognizes the shoes or the man wearing them.

Haynes said she didn't want to look at video of the burning car. But she did and it's an image she can't get out of her mind.