HEPHZIBAH, Ga.--It's a death deputies are calling shocking, and neighbors are having a hard time understanding.
Kathiner Smothermon lives next to the victim and suspect. She says, "I saw cop cars, and I didn't understand what was going on, so I looked out and saw an ambulance, and I thought somebody had fell and hurt theirself."
But the police were responding to something much worse: a domestic dispute that turned deadly.
Smothermon says, "I cant see him hurting her on purpose, I really can't, cause he loved her too much."
Smothermon has lived next to Tiffany Salter and her boyfriend for years, and she says nothing could have prepared her for this.
"He's come over and cut my back yard, because I'm disabled and can't do it. He'd bring his riding lawn mower over and they'd pick up limbs and stuff," she says.
But Tiffany's boyfriend, Todd Goff, won't be cutting his neighbor's yard anytime soon. He was booked into the Richmond County Jail.
Deputies say they found his girlfriend dead in a wooded area behind the couple's backyard. Deputies say it looks like she was strangled to death. Deputies also say Goff was digging a large hole in the woods near her body.
Smothermon says, "You never really know what goes on in people's minds."
Investigators say Goff called his mother early this morning and told her he and his girlfriend had gotten into a fight. He said he choked her and she was not breathing. Goff's mother called 9-1-1 and rushed to her son's house.
Smothermon says, "I got dressed and I went out there, and she was to pieces."
And Goff's mother isn't the only one in pieces. The incident shattered the quiet Reynolds Street community, and all of those who knew the young couple.
Smothermon says, "It's going to be awful strange."
Salter's body is being autopsied at the GBI crime lab in Atlanta. Goff is being held at the Richmond County jail until the autopsy reveals the actual cause of death. Deputies say they will formally charge him after those results are in.
July 7, 2012
HEPHZIBAH, Ga--A Hephzibah woman is dead. Deputies believe she may have been strangled to death.
Richmond County Deputies and Hephzibah Police Officers responded to the 4400 block of Reynolds St around 6:50am Saturday for a domestic dispute with an unresponsive woman.
The woman has been identified as 22-year-old Tiffany Nicole Salter. Her body was found in a wooded area in the backyard.
Deputies say the suspect is 24-year-old Todd Goff. They say he called his mother and advised her that he and Salter were involved in an altercation and during the altercation he choked her and she was not breathing.
Goff’s mother in turn called 911. Goff was taken into custody at the scene after a brief struggle with officers.
Goff is currently being held at the Richmond County Jail in reference to the death of Salter pending the results of the autopsy which is being conducted on Monday in Atlanta. No formal charges have been brought against Goff at this time.
This investigation is in its beginning phases and further information will be released when it becomes available.
We're told Goff was caught trying to dig a hole in the wooded area near the backyard.
Salter's body has been sent to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy.
This is Richmond County's 18th murder for this year.