Roommate Suspected in Atlanta College Student's Murder Was a Close Friend, Family Says
Alexis Crawford, a criminal justice major, died from asphyxiation, authorities said
One of the two suspects charged with murdering Alexis Crawford spent two recent holidays with the Clark Atlanta University student’s family, according to a new report.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution spoke with the Rev. Markel Hutchins, who agreed to meet with the paper on behalf of the slain 21-year-old woman’s relatives.
Hutchins explains that Alexis invited Jordyn Jones, 21, to join her family for both Thanksgiving and Easter.
“That makes that tragedy all the more difficult to understand and reconcile,” Hutchins told the paper. “She spent time with the family, in the family home.”
Alexis, who was roommates with Jones in Atlanta, was reported missing on Nov. 1 and later found dead on Friday after investigators were led to her body by one of the two suspects, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields previously said.
Alexis died from asphyxiation, medical examiners determined after performing an autopsy on her remains.
Jordyn Jones and her boyfriend, Barron Brantley, who is also 21, have been arrested and charged with Crawford’s murder. Brantley was booked on Friday and Jones was taken into custody on Saturday.
PEOPLE was unable to determine if either defendant has obtained legal representation.
Hutchins said that Alexis’ family welcomed Jones into their home with open arms.
“They knew Jordyn, they liked Jordyn. There was never a reason to suspect that Jordyn would do anything wrong or ill to Alexis,” Hutchins said. “One family member described them as two peas in a pod. To go from that to where we are today, it’s unthinkable, unspeakable.”
Hutchins said the two women had been friends since meeting their freshman year.
While no motive has been established at this time, police are looking into a police report filed by Alexis shortly before her disappearance.
“The department did make a police report from Alexis Crawford on Oct. 27, and this is a few days prior to her being reported missing,” Shields told reporters on Friday. “In this report, Alexis described unwanted kissing and touching from Barron Brantley.”
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According to Hutchins, Crawford was studying criminal justice.
Her family described her as bright, affectionate, funny and fun, he said.
In the wake of Alexis’ death, Clark Atlanta University’s president George T. French Jr. issued a letter to the campus community, calling the discovery of her body “the worst possible news.”
“Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with her family and with everyone who knew and loved Alexis,” he wrote, adding that the campus would have grief counselors on-site to help students, faculty and staff cope with the devastating loss.
“Tonight, we mourn together,” he said. “For those who knew Alexis, and for our CAU family, the days ahead will be hard.”
It was unclear Monday if Brantley or Jones had pleaded to the murder charge they each face.
A funeral for Crawford is scheduled for noon on Saturday at the Hill Chapel Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia.