CLICK HERE to donate to the Andrya Deghelder’s Memorial Scholarship
A family shares memories of their daughter who was murdered as investigators work to find out who killed her.
Investigators found the body of Grovetown woman, Andrya Deghelder, in a dumpster behind a Grovetown shopping center about a week after she went missing. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office continues to pour over evidence to put her killer behind bars.
The parents of Andrya Deghelder traveled to Columbia County from Missouri. They reached out to NewsChannel 6 to share how they are honoring their daughter’s life.
“Andrya always wanted to help others,” Donna says.
“This way she can fulfill her dreams if not personally, then through the education of others,” Donna describes.
Deghelder graduated from AU in 2017 with a Masters in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
“She was very strong in her will to get educated to do this,” Donna explains. “She went through it the hard way. We didn’t have the money to send her to school. She did it all on her own through horrible trials.
Deghelder focused her research on blood disorders. She was inspired to study this topic because of her own personal experience with a related illness.
Her mother says, “[She] overcame [her illness], became a mother, worked and went to school and got where she wanted to be and then was cut short.”
Her scholarship website reads the following:
“Eight years ago, Andrya developed a rare medical condition called aplastic anemia, at the time of the birth of her son, Kellan. She valiantly overcame the disease with the help of her brother. Her experience inspired her to research blood disorders and work towards a cure.”
Deghelder’s lifelong friend says the world lost someone special with her death because her studies could have led to cures for a range of diseases. The memorial scholarship is a way to keep her life’s work alive.
“Please be generous in helping us build her legacy,” asks her mother. “We’re going to try to make something positive from this.”
Donna and Weldon say they are overcome with grief, but also overwhelmed with the love they have received.
“You realize there are good people out there. You just do and it’s amazing. It is amazing. I just can’t thank people enough. There are no words. It’s wonderful.”
Investigators with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office continue to work with the FBI to pin down who killed Andrya Deghelder.
The sheriff’s office says Deghelder’s next door neighbor, Christopher Gibson, is a person of interest in the case.
When deputies searched Gibson’s home they say they found evidence to arrest him on unrelated charges. Gibson is charged with kidnapping and illegal gun possession linked to the armed robbery of a Subway in Grovetown.