Augusta woman arrested after her mother’s remains found buried in backyard


AUGUSTA (WJBF) – The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has arrested an Augusta woman after her mother’s remains were found buried in their backyard.

Authorities were called to the 1700 block of Tobacco Road on Thursday, June 3rd for a suspicious situation. Upon arrival they found 43-year old Melissa Lockhart with a possible broken knee. As deputies further assessed the scene, they discovered a fresh grave in the backyard.

Melissa Lockhart identified the body as her mother 67-year old, Miriam Lockhart. Melissa told RCSO deputies that she found her mother deceased in a bed on May 31st or June 1st. She said she didn’t want to call authorities because she didn’t want anyone to cut (perform autopsy) on her mother, Miriam.

Melissa Lockhart was taken to the hospital for treatment of a broken knee. She has also be charged with Concealing Death, Probation Violation, and state court bench warrant.

Police have been dispatched to the home before. In February of 2021, both RCSO deputies and Gold Cross EMS responded to the home for reports of a woman having trouble breathing.

According to incident reports, Miriam Lockhart told authorities she was afraid of her daughter Melissa. Miriam said that Melissa would yell at her and she was afraid that Melissa would hit or kill her. she went on to say that she can barely move and hasn’t left the residence in years.

Deputies then spoke with Melissa who stated her mother, Miriam, is the one who yells and gets mad when Melissa tries to help.

First responders did not find any physical injuries on either party during that visit.

This is a developing story.

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