AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – For 27 years, “Miss Louise” Sturgis has never given up hope in finding her missing twin girls. Now, thanks to The Fall Line Podcast there could be some movement in this case.
Jeannette and Dannette Millbrook were 15-years-old when they disappeared.
The date was March 18, 1990 and the sisters’ last known place was the Pump-N-Shop on 12th Street and MLK Boulevard.
There were no leads in the investigation decades ago and finally in 2013 the case was re-opened.
Now, technology and a promise by Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree could help bring closure to the family of the twins.
NewsChannel 6 has been digging deeper into the cold case. We learned from the latest podcast of The Fall Line, Special Episode: Hope, Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the Sturgis family he’s putting this case back on the front burner and putting reward money on the table too.
The Sheriff told the family and NewsChannel 6 during a prior interview that his office plans to match any amount the family can raise for a reward in the twins disappearance. Now the work begins. And the podcast shared more movement in the case during a close to half an hour talk from a conversation 27 years in the making.
“Once I took a look at the case I saw there was a grave misjustice done to that family,” Sheriff Roundtree told NewsChannel 6.
Even though he reopened this cold case in 2013, Sheriff Richard Roudntree is now taking a stronger look into the disappearance of Jeannette and Dannette Millbrook.
He said, “The individual working that case inadvertently closed the case for whatever reason and the case shouldn’t have been closed.”
That injustice is described in detail by family members Miss Louise Sturgis, the twins’ mother, and their younger sister, Shanta Sturgis. The family waited 27 years to have a one-on-one conversation with their local Sheriff about the case. That meeting was detailed in the national podcast The Fall Line, which was media attention that helped get the family a seat in front of Roundtree.
Brooke Blank, The Fall Line Podcast co-host asked a series of questions following an update in the case from Laurah Norton, her co-host.
“…for the people who have never been interviewed from the original case or in 2013 was to get those people interviewed,” Blank said of the crux of the talk with the sheriff.
Shanta Sturgis answered, “Yes, I spoke with Sheriff Roudntree about that and he said that Mr. Godden would take care of all the questions that we had and they would question the people who were never interviewed.” Godden is an investigator with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office assigned to the Millbrook case, according to the podcast.
The clerk who last saw the twins at the gas station on 12th Street and MLK Boulevard, people in the neighborhood and the twins’ father will now be part of the investigation. The podcast also reveals the Sheriff’s Office has Dannette’s fingerprints and it will be shared with the GBI.
“If somebody did a crime or somebody did a murder they would be able to compare whatever DNA or fingerprints they had,” Shanta added.
One person investigators will look at is 1990s serial killer Joseph Patrick Washington in case one of his victims could have been one of the Millbrook twins. But the family is holding on to hope and, with the help of the podcasters, they are soliciting local businesses and people for reward money that the Sheriff said he will match.
“Reward cases are started through private funding. Then we locate funding to try to match that case based on the level of commitment that someone has already done,” the sheriff said. “If we get community support and community involvement then we try to locate the fund to match that community involvement that says we’re going to actively participate on equal share with the community. Because they wanted to get involved we’re going to try and help further that particular cause.”
The podcasters hope the community will step up and start donating a couple of thousands to be matched by the Sheriff’s Office. We reported last week that local pastor, Angela C. Harden, held a fundraiser to put up a billboard with the Millbrook twins and all of Richmond County’s missing. She said it will go up next week.