Body of missing Dahlonega woman found in Forsyth County

LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that detectives have found the body of a missing Lumpkin County woman. The body of 21-year-old Hannah Bender was found several counties down in Forsyth County.

Bender disappeared Sept. 14 in Lumpkin County. Her family told Channel 2's Lauren Davis that they believed she may have been killed after detectives made an ominous discovery.

The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office said it has two suspects: 22-year-old Austin Stryker and 78-year-old Jerry Harper.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Stryker after finding Bender's blood-soaked clothes and talking to witnesses. The sheriff is calling Harper a person of interest.


Davis learned that forensic teams searched an area in Forsyth County after they received a tip. They found Bender's body Wednesday afternoon off Parks Road near Highway 306.

While the family can now bury their daughter, Bender's father spoke at a news conference asking everyone to not post any more rumors on social media.

"This has been an experience for my family. I want everyone to stop spreading information and just shut up and stop throwing that garbage out there online," Gary Bender said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the case. An autopsy will be done to determine Bender's cause of death.