It was an “absolutely heartbreaking” end to the week-long search for a missing Clark Atlanta University student, Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields said Friday. Alexis Janae Crawford, 21, was found dead.
Investigators believe it was Crawford’s roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend, Jordyn Jones and Barron Brantley, who are responsible for Crawford’s death, Shields said.
“The case has come to one of the saddest conclusions possible and has been absolutely heartbreaking,” Shields said during a press conference. “To Alexis’s family , our hearts go out to you. I am so truly sorry that we could not provide you with a better ending.”
Though investigators have not released a motive, Crawford was the alleged victim of a sexual assault three days before she was last seen alive, according to a police report. Brantley was the suspect in the Oct. 26 incident, which allegedly happened at the apartment Crawford shared with Jones while the three were consuming alcohol, the report states.
Three days later, on Oct. 30, Crawford spoke to her family the last time.
Alexandria Crawford, Alexis’ sister, told police they last texted about 8:45 p.m. Oct. 30.
“What are you doing for the weekend”? Alexis had texted.
“Nothing,” Alexandria Crawford replied.
Alexis didn’t respond to other text messages that night, her family told police.
Later that night, Crawford and her roommate went to a liquor store. Jones told police she and Crawford hadn’t been speaking since the alleged sexual assault, but Crawford had asked Jones to take her to the store. A surveillance camera at D & M Package on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard captured what is believed to be the last photo of Crawford, according to Atlanta police.
The following morning, Jones said she left for class and Crawford wasn’t in the apartment. On Nov. 1, Crawford’s family reported her missing, and Atlanta police began an investigation.
In the days that followed, Crawford’s family had pleaded for her safe return.
“Baby, I love you, baby,” her father said through tears during a news conference Monday at Atlanta police headquarters. “Just come home, baby. Just come home.”
Instead, one of the suspects led investigators to Crawford’s body, found in a DeKalb County park off Columbia Drive, Shields said.
In a letter to the Clark Atlanta community, university President George French called Crawford’s death “the worst possible news” and an isolated, off-campus incident.
“Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with her family and with everyone who knew and loved Alexis,” French said in the letter, posted on social media.
Grief counselors were available, French said.
— Please return to ajc.com for updates on this developing story
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