Investigators have now positively identified the body found Tuesday night as that of Andrya Deghelder and determined a cause of death.

Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins tells us that Deghelder was strangled to death.

No word yet on a suspect but investigators believe it to be someone Deghelder knew.

A vigil for Andrya will be held at her home at 7 p.m. Friday.


Wednesday, Columbia County investigators announced they believe the body found in a dumpster behind the Dollar Tree at the Gateway Shopping Center Tuesday night is that of Andrya Deghelder. And they say they’re one step closer to finding whoever killed her.

“We don’t think it’s a matter of if, we just think it’s a matter of when,” said Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Major Sharif Chochol.

Major Sharif Chochol says whoever committed the crime inside Deghelder’s home tried to cover it up. 

“But it didn’t work. We have evidence to include DNA evidence, pictures, surveillance video,” says Major Chochol.

The news of Deghelder’s disappearance and death has people in this usually-quiet neighborhood looking over their shoulders.

“It’s really like a lightbulb going off in your head going yeah, I better pay attention to everything around me,” says Robert Rahaim

Until the suspect is behind bars…

“This is something to worry about and keep an extra eye out now,” says Rahaim.

Major Chochol has this message for whoever killed Andrya Deghelder:

“We would encourage that person to come turn themselves in before we have to track them down.”

Sheriff Clay Whittle says the discovery of the body has sent this investigation into high gear.

He says he wants to thank the people who live in this neighborhood and the other agencies who helped in the investigation for their cooperation.

The body is at the GBI crime lab.  

We are still awaiting positive identification, as well as autopsy results.


It’s been seven days since a Grovetown woman was taken from her home.

Now, at a press conference held by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, we’re told a body was found in the search for Andrya DeGhelder.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NewsChannel 6, that the body of a white female was found in a dumpster behind the Dollar Tree at the Gateway in Grovetown that they said they believe to be Andrya DeGhelder, who has not been seen since July 25.

Right now they are waiting on autopsy results but based on evidence, they believe it’s Andrya. 

Investigators are now treating this as a homicide case.

They also say they are looking into DNA evidence found in her home.

“Processing the crime scene, it’s obvious that whoever is responsible tried to clean up the scene…but it didn’t work,” says Major Sherif ChoChol. “We have evidence, to include DNA evidence, pictures, surveillance video. So, we have a lot of evidence that we are going through.”

No person of interest in the case has been identified but they believe that it is someone that the victim knew.

Friends of Andrya tell NewsChannel 6 that they were supposed to meet her for dinner last Wednesday but had to cancel. They tell us they spoke with her around 4:30 p.m.

Andrya was supposed to show up to her job at the VA but never arrived, Wednesday night.

That’s when investigators went to her home which later became a crime scene.

Her disappearance has rocked the Ivy Falls subdivision.

Andrya’s son is now staying with her ex-husband.

NewsChannel 6 will be following this story all day and will have more tonight on NewsChannel 6 at 5, 6, and 7 p.m.


It’s been five days since a Grovetown woman disappeared and now Columbia County investigators say Andrya DeGhelder was taken from her home, Wednesday night.  

Now, the community is getting involved in hopes of finding her.

Investigators wrapped up gathering evidence from Andrya’s home, Monday afternoon.

While the search continues for Andrya, volunteers are working to try and bring her home.

It’s a disappearance that has rocked the Ivy Falls neighborhood.

“Everybody is kind of nervous. I was at church yesterday and people who don’t live in this neighborhood, people who live in Tudor Branch…they’re even nervous now,” said neighbor Iteago Felton.

It’s been days since Andrya was taken from her home and there are still no answers as to where she could be.

“Whoever it is, if you’re listening to me, turn her loose, if you have her,” said Felton.

Investigators say all signs point to Andrya knowing her abductor.

Now, a group of volunteers, known as “Project Drew” is getting in on the search.

Signs are up throughout the neighborhood.

“This lady, when we first looked into it, we knew we had issues. So, we reached out to friends and family and said, ‘Hey, we want to help,'” said Andy Cato.

Cato is part of the search.

His son, Drew, was missing for almost a month before his body was found in McCormick County in May.

Drew’s alleged killers remain behind bars.

“You always hope for the best. But, you always think the worst. For me, it’s been like living some bad memories,” said Cato.

Neighbors say until this mystery is solved, there’s a different atmosphere in Ivy Falls.

“I have a 14-year old and I see a lot of young ladies walking around. Everybody walks this neighborhood. But now, things have changed,” said Felton.

So far, evidence has been taken off Andrya’s cell phone.

Investigators say that Andrya was on several dating sites so they’re also looking into that as well as neighbor’s surveillance footage.

If you have any information regarding this case, call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.