Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vidalia, GA: Soldier accused in Vidalia murder-suicide

A Third Infantry Division soldier is accused of killing a former soldier, then killing himself. Police said the apparent murder-suicide was the result of a domestic dispute.

Gloria Nichols is heartbroken over the death of her daughter, former Third I.D. solider Miranda Nichols. Miranda Nichols was found dead around 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon in the street outside her mother's house in Vidalia. Investigators said Nichols had an argument with Specialist Samuel Tellu, a petroleum specialist at Hunter Army Airfield.

“Her mother was able to advise us that her and a male subject had got into an altercation, and then she heard a gunshot,” said Det. Cpl. Brad Bradley of the Vidalia Police Department.

Police said Nichols died of a single gunshot wound to the head. A small memorial now marks the crime scene. Authorities searched for their prime suspect, Spc. Tellu, and his white Mercury Mountaineer. The U.S. Marshal’s Service pinged his cell phone. They found Tellu's vehicle in Montgomery County around 8:15 a.m. Sunday. Police said Tellu was inside – dead of a single gunshot wound to the head.

“He was backed in. The seat was laid back and the doors were locked to the vehicle and he was found inside,” said Bradley.

Gloria Nichols said her daughter served about 10 years in the Army and National Guard. She served two tours in Iraq and got out of the Guard earlier this year. She said her daughter started seeing Tellu after she and her husband divorced. 

“Her thing was she didn't want to get in a serious relationship,” Nichols said. “And I don't think he could accept that. That's probably exactly why everything just wound up the way it was. He couldn't take it and he just took her life and his.”

Spc. Tellu served in the Army for two-and-a-half years with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade. He did one tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

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