AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The search for Latania Janell Carwell has come to an end.
Last week, human remains were found in a wooded area behind a home on Golden Camp Road. The site was excavated and the body sent to the GBI Crime Lab for identification. Using dental records, officials were able to identify the remains Latania Carwell.
Latania Carwell was last seen alive on Apr. 17, 2017. At the time, it was believed that she left with her stepfather, Leon Tripp, to help a friend with vehicle troubles. A few days later, the sheriff's office announced that Tripp was wanted for her kidnapping. Latania's mother, Tonya Tripp, pleaded with the public to help find her daughter. Leon Tripp was arrested May 23 in DeKalb County. Tonya Tripp was arrested the same day after it was revealed she had moved out of her Augusta home and headed to the Atlanta area to be with Leon.
On June 12, Sheriff Richard Roundtree announced the investigation was no longer searching for a missing person. He said at the time, "We no longer consider this a missing person investigation but we are now conducting an active homicide investigation."
Law enforcement agencies from all across the area gathered in Augusta to search for Latania's body. Helicopters and ground personnel searched the area around Tate Road and the old Regency Mall, but to no avail.
In August, the charges again Leon and Tonya Tripp changed. Leon Tripp was now being charged with murder and kidnapping. Tonya Tripp was charged with concealing a death.
And that was the last development in the case until Mar. 2018 when Latania's body was found on Golden Camp Road.
According to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen, her death is considered suspicious and is being treated as a homicide.