Daughter charged with murdering mother in Wayne County

Veteran police detective says similar crime details rarely point to the same suspect in multiple murder cases

The daughter of Willie Jo Vaughn, the 73-year-old found dead in the Altamaha River in March, is facing murder charges in Wayne County.

48-year-old Eugenia Lynn Schell is facing 8 charges including, Murder, Kidnapping, and False Imprisonment for the death of Vaughn, according to lead investigator Brandon Rozier of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Vaughn was reported missing on March 26th.  After an extensive search, authorities found her body inside her car found submerged in the Altamaha River two weeks later.

Prior to these charges filed last week, Schell, and her boyfriend Christopher Pearce were facing charges unrelated to the Murder of Vaughn.  Schell was charged aggravated stalking and false statement charges for violating a protection order filed by Vaughn.  Pearce was also charged with making false statements and is now facing additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Wayne County Investigators say GBI test results lead to the new charges for Schell and Pearce and more charges could be coming for both.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call the GBI or the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 912-427-5970.

Willie Jo Vaughn
Willie Jo Vaughn


Eugenia Schell
Eugenia Schell


Christopher Pearce
Christopher Pearce

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