AUGUSTA (WFXG) - An Augusta mother who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her then 16-year-old daughter Latania Janell Carwell trial is now postponed.
Tripp’s attorney appeared in court on Friday, May 10 for a pre-trial hearing and requested continuance. Judge Michael Annis accepted the request and agreed in postponing the trial start date.
In March 2018, human remains were found in a wooded area behind a home on Golden Camp Road in Augusta. 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 as 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, 2017 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, 2017, 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 March 2018, Carwell’s body was found buried in a shallow grave near her home.
FOX 54 will update you as this story continues to develop.