AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office have arrested five people in connection to the false imprisonment and kidnapping of a 20-year-old woman.
Investigators responded to a home on the 2200 block of Nellie Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 29 just before 10:30 p.m. after receiving a complaint about a victim of false imprisonment. During the investigation, the following suspects were arrested:
- 32-year-old Shawna Sue Powell
- 19-year-old Dawson Alexander Weston
- 24-year-old Demichael Rashawn Dawson
- 29-year-old Anjelika Denice Figueroa
- 18-year-old Savannah Marie Piazzi
The complainant told investigators that he had seen the victim, a Black female, locked in a dog cage inside Powell’s home while he was there to retrieve some of his property. She was naked and beaten severely and asked him for help.
When the complainant confronted Powell about the woman in the cage, Powell told him “that is my whore. She stole a bunch of stuff from me, so she is going to be my sex slave and I am going to pimp her out until she pays it off.”
The complainant told investigators that he had overheard someone inside the home state that multiple people were en route to “have their way with her” which he stated “basically meant to rape her” but he was unsure as to exactly when they might arrive.
He knew two people inside the home were armed, and that when he initially arrived one of the men pointed a gun at him due to not knowing who he was. He implicated Weston as being at the home and always carrying a gun.
The complainant had initially called the police but was fearful of giving his name, fearing retaliation from Powell but stated that deputies needed to get inside the home because he feared for the victim’s safety.
Investigators later encountered Weston at a Sprint gas station on Peach Orchard Road in Hephzibah where the complainant was being interviewed. Weston was positively identified by the complainant and was seen with a woman later identified as Figueroa. The complainant said he believed Figueroa to be the woman who stripped the victim’s clothes off.
Weston, Figueroa, and a third person in Figueroa’s car believed to be Piazzi were detained while investigators went to Powell’s home to investigate and determine their involvement.
Investigators surrounded the Nellie Drive home and called out to anyone inside the home to step out with their hands up. Nobody responded. Investigators cleared a second mobile home on the property as abandoned.
Deputies on the perimeter of the main home noticed movement inside. More attempts were made to instruct those inside to come out with their hands up. Investigators even attempted to contact Powell by name.
A brief time later, Dawson exited the home. He is believed to be one of the suspects who was armed. He told investigators that more people were inside the home. Three pit bulls inside the residence were released outside to allow deputies to enter.
Once inside, deputies observed the cage that the victim was stated to be in but found it empty. Human and animal feces were in different rooms around the home.
Investigators eventually located the victim lying on a bed in the front left bedroom of the home, injured and emotionally distraught. She was found with multiple injuries to her face, her left eye was severely swollen and bruised.
Investigators believed there was at least one more person inside the home, making multiple unsuccessful attempts to negotiate them out before Powell finally exited the room.
Powell asked investigators what was going on and said she had been asleep. She was immediately detained and taken out of the home. Deputies cleared the rest of the home without incident.
SouthStar EMS responded and transported the victim to an area hospital. Animal control also responded to take the dogs.
All the suspects were transported to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning. They have been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Dawson was additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.