Victim Tameka Skinner's uncle described the 39-year-old mother of two as "very joyful, humorous and caring"

By Jeff Truesdell
July 28, 2020 12:42 PM
Advertisement
Tameka Skinner
Facebook

A Georgia mother of two is dead after authorities say an early morning kidnapping led to a police chase -- and the arrest of four people for her alleged murder.

The body of Tameka Skinner, 39, was found late Monday morning in a wooded area of Russell County, Alabama, a few miles from where her stolen car was recovered earlier in the day, Sheriff Heath Taylor said at a news conference.

She had been shot. No motive for the violence was revealed.

“Right now, we are working on it," Taylor told the media, reports Columbus, Georgia, TV station WRBL. "We may have some ideas on what the motive is, but we are awaiting on evidence to determine what our motive is going to be."

Skinner was kidnapped around 1 a.m. Monday from an apartment complex in Columbus by a group of attackers who allegedly took her vehicle, reports the Associated Press.

Taylor said a male friend of Skinner's was also assaulted in the incident at the Hickory Hill apartments, but was left behind when the kidnappers allegedly fled with the woman.

Authorities were alerted to the possible discovery of the vehicle across the Alabama state line, he said. While Russell County deputies went looking for it, they observed a suspicious vehicle that took off when deputies tried to approach, initiating a chase.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

“Once the vehicle reached Wetumpka, they wrecked, and all four individuals inside were taken into custody,” said Taylor.

At the crash site, investigators also found a handgun they suspect was used in Skinner's murder, he said.

Authorities who located Skinner's car said it appeared that someone had tried to burn and then hide it.

Those arrested on charges of kidnapping and capital murder were Demetria Johnson, 30; Sean Johnson, 40; and Joshua Tolbert, 30, all of Columbus; and Javion Phillips, 33, of Seale, Alabama.

It could not be determined whether the four still were being held Tuesday or if a bond had been issued, nor whether any of the suspects had obtained an attorney. A call by PEOPLE to the sheriff's office was not immediately returned.

Skinner's uncle Robert Jones told WTVM that his niece, a mother of two daughters, was "a friendly person.”

“Very joyful, humorous and caring, and God-fearing woman of God," he said.

The sheriff said after speaking with the family, "I promised our office would do everything we could do get justice for Tameka."