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Family wants Pike farm searched for body parts

By Rachel McDaniel A family hopes law enforcement officials will search a 63-acre plot of land in Pike County as a result of their $5 million wrongful death lawsuit which was filed Monday, June 17 in federal court in Macon. The lawsuit was filed by the parents of murdered Mercer University graduate Lauren Giddings. The lawsuit requests in part that a federal judge allow a search of the Pike County farmland that belonged to suspect Stephen McDaniel’s grandfather for remains of their daughter. Giddings’ torso was found June 30, 2011 in a trash bin at her Georgia Avenue apartment in Macon but the rest of her body was never found. A month after she was killed, McDaniel was charged with murder. He remains in jail with a $850,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for September in Bibb County Superior Court, but prosecutors decided in February not to pursue the death penalty. The girls’ father, Billy Giddings and his wife Karen, claim McDaniel stole pictures from their daughter’s apartment, then later dismembered her and painted over the blood stains on her apartment walls. In an interview with The Telegraph, he said the wrongful death lawsuit is less about the money and more about finding out information about her death. ”It’s just pretty frustrating for us not to get any answers,” he said. “And it’s been two years. We can’t get over not finding the rest of her.” Since the murder investigation began, members of the Giddings family have requested a search at the 63-acre tract at 791 Dripping Rock Road where McDaniel’s maternal grandfather, the late Hollis Browning, lived until his recent death. The Giddings’ lawsuit claims McDaniel traveled to the Pike County farmland the weekend before Giddings was killed to look ‘for locations where he could scatter dismembered body parts through the woods.’ Investigators never searched the property. Billy Giddings said to The Telegraph reporter, ‘I still would like to have cadaver dogs search that.’ Mentioned in the wrongful death lawsuit are claims that McDaniel’s roommate said in 2007 that McDaniel often spoke of the “perfect murder” and how he would dismember his victim and “scatter the parts through the woods so that no one would ever find them.”

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