AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Thirteen faces now plaster the city’s largest billboard– you won’t miss it when you drive through the intersection of Dean’s Bridge and Milledgeville Roads. It all started with one woman spear-heading the project– raising money for the billboard with the community’s support.
“And that is what our hope is: That someone will say ‘I remember,'” Pastor Angela Harden who was the brains behind the billboard said.
She became passionate about Richmond County’s missing back in March, when a close friend, Julian Williams, wasn’t seen for thirty days. His remains were later found buried in the Beech Island area. “Julian was found, and we’re praying and hoping that those on that billboard are found,” Harden explained.
The first two faces on sign: Preston Overton and Jannell Carwell, two recent cases that are now considered homicides.
I caught Overton’s brother, Avery Overton looking up and remembering his “soul mate”, his “best friend.” Avery told me he doesn’t know if the billboard will bring the answers he is pleading praying for, but for now, it’s a place he comes to simply look up and remember his missing loved one.
“It is indescribable, but you’ve got a drive to find them. You want to know where they are. You want to know what happened,” Harden told me.
The other 10 people still haven’t been found, and two have been missing for nearly three decades: James Gramling, Judson Fielding, Deborah Dill, Marquis Nunnally, Sadie Edney, Marion Williams, Timothy Malpass, Jerry Isenhour, and twins, Dannette and Jeanette Millbrook.
“I felt happy that it was up there, but I felt sad because those are my sisters. Looking up there at that billboard and knowing we don’t know where they’re at, it’s a hard feeling. We haven’t known where they are in 27 years,” Shanta Sturgis, Dannette and Jeannette’s sister explained.
Sturgis is collecting donations to put up a reward for the missing twins, and the Richmond County Sheriff ‘s Office will match the money raised.
“It doesn’t get any easier, but I don’t give up. I never gave up. I always try. I talk to myself, and I tell myself ‘Shanta, you can’t give up. You have got to at least try to do this for your mom,'” Sturgis told me.
If you know any information about the people on that billboard, call your local law enforcement.
Pastor Harden plans to put up two more billboards. To donate, send an email to her: firstname.lastname@example.org