• May 29, 2015

Two more arrested in Taylor Smith death case

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:00 am

The Pickens Sheriff’s Office has charged two more individuals in connection to the death of a 20-year-old Holly Springs woman, whose body was abandoned outside of a mobile home in Jasper just before the Labor Day weekend.

Taylor Smith, 20, died Aug. 29 after suffering an asthma attack and possible seizure, an autopsy report showed.  

Dustin Cox, 25, of Canton, and Darleen George, 51, of Cartersville, each were charged with possessing methamphetamine and reckless conduct, according to Capt. Frank Reynolds, spokesman for the Pickens Sheriff’s Office.

George, who turned herself in to police on Sept. 10, additionally was charged with making false statements. Cox was being held in the Cherokee County jail on unrelated charges — a hold for Pickens County was placed on him. 

On the night Smith died, police said she had been out with friends, who have now been identified as Cox and George. Police said 38-year-old Marty Gaddis and Denise Patterson, 51, also were with Smith that night.

Smith allegedly stopped breathing at some point during the night, and the people she was with reportedly attempted to revive her with a cold shower. When that failed, police said two of those same friends dropped Smith’s body outside of mobile home. With the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Pickens Sheriff’s Office arrested Gaddis and Patterson the week before last for their alleged role in the crime.

Police said the charges included abandoning a dead body, concealing the death of another, reckless conduct and tampering with evidence. 

Gaddis and Patterson allegedly also were in possession of suspected methamphetamine.

While little still is known about the events leading up to the abandonment of Smith’s body, Reynolds said drug use is suspected to have played a role on the part of both the arrested individuals and the victim.

“A toxicology report is still pending from the GBI crime lab of Ms. Smith,” he continued, stating that it could take as long as six weeks to get results.

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