UPDATE: Suspects arrested in Auburn homicide investigation connected to multiple homicides
AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Two suspects involved in the murder of a Phenix City woman were arrested stemming from felony warrants issued by the Auburn Police Division.
On Saturday, April 18, the Auburn Police Division obtained felony warrants for the offenses of First Degree Theft of Property and Capital Murder for the arrest of Derrick Hightower, 32, of Columbus, Georgia.
Hightower was taken into custody by the Birmingham Police Department for separate but related charges.
On Sunday, April 19, Auburn Police arrested Kentrice Symonee Hill, 21, of Birmingham, Alabama in obedience to felony warrants for the offenses of First Degree Theft of Property and Capital Murder.
Hill was transported to the Lee County Detention Facility where she will be processed. She has no bond.
Auburn Police were called to a truck fire on Friday morning, April 17, and confirmed 54-year-old Nancy Nash of Phenix City was found dead at Creative Habitats Landscaping in Auburn.
Nash’s vehicle, a black 2019 Nissan Frontier, was missing from the scene and was located in Irondale, Alabama.
Sergeant Mauldin with the Birmingham Police Department confirmed in a Facebook video that police were notified of a stolen vehicle out of Auburn at a motel on Crestwood Boulevard around 11 p.m. on Friday, April 17. Upon investigation, the Birmingham Police Department confirmed that vehicle was involved in the Auburn homicide.
The vehicle is being transported back to the Auburn Police Division for processing by the FBI.
According to Sgt. Mauldin, Birmingham Police spotted Hightower and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Hightower exited the vehicle and fired rounds at officers. Gunfire was exchanged and officers lost sight of the suspect.
Police continued to search the area. Evidence led investigators to Briar Grove Drive, where another person was found dead with gunshot wounds.
According to the Birmingham Police Department, “This suspect is responsible for the homicide in Auburn and possibly related to a couple of homicides in Dadeville, as well as robberies throughout the state.”
The warrants stemmed from a death investigation conducted by the Auburn Police Division, with assistance from the Birmingham Police Department, Irondale Police Department, Dadeville Police Department, Colombus Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, State Fire Marshal’s Office, State Medical Examiner’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lee County District Attorney’s Office and the Lee County Coroner’s Office.
Additional details are still emerging.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at (334) 501-3140 or at the tip line, (334) 246-1391.
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