FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - Police are working to determine what led a man to allegedly kill one of his neighbors.
Channel 2’s Alyssa Hyman learned quickly Tuesday evening that investigators are not saying much about the case.
Neighbors walked her to the spot where the body of Mimi Perry, 63, was found. A small memorial now marks the spot in the Bay Branch neighborhood of Fayetteville.
"I was floored. Nothing like that has ever happened around here,” neighbor Luann Cofield told Hyman. "I had talked to her in passing. She was a real sweet woman.”
Another neighbor said Perry was killed right behind her home Friday. Neighbors confirmed a photo of her that Hyman found on Facebook.
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“Still a little terrified to come home,” the neighbor said. "A neighbor said, ‘Did you know there's a dead body back there?’ I said, ‘No, saw the crime scene was already taped.’”
Police arrested Shanard Rease, 39, and charged him with Perry’s killing. He lives in the neighborhood, as well.
"I had seen him when I would walk my dog. He would be standing out in front of his house and being loud on his telephone, aggressively talking to someone,” the neighbor said.
Hyman looked into Rease’s past and found he has been in and out of prison for the last 20 years. He was just released in March 2018 after an aggravated assault conviction. Police confirmed Rease was still on unsupervised probation.
Neighbors told Hyman they thought Rease was living with a relative in the neighborhood.
Hyman knocked on the door of the home that neighbors pointed to the place Rease was living. No one answered the door.
"It's just scary to know that somebody with that propensity for violence lived right here in my neighborhood,” Cofield said.
Police still won’t say how Perry was killed or what they believe was the motive. The district attorney said they don’t want to jeopardize the prosecution of the case.
Perry's family sent Hyman a statement on wednesday, saying:
"Mimi Perry passed away Friday May 24th in Fayetteville, Georgia. She was a selfless person that had monumental impact on so many and brightened everything around her. As a family, we are devastated that she was taken from us in a senseless act. We want to thank the Fayetteville Police Department for working tirelessly to find our family justice for one of the best individuals anyone could hope to know. We will be holding a celebration of life on her behalf in both Georgia and Utah with details soon to come. Thank you to all that have reached out to us."
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