Johnny Ware, 36, 104 Park Lane was charged with murder in connection with the death of 88-year-old Hazel Lummus, Thomaston Police Chief Dan Greathouse said.
Authorities say although an arrest has been made, the investigation remains active and that additional charges are likely. Once complete, the case files will be turned over to Distract Attorney-elect Scott Ballard for presentation to a grand jury some time after the first of the year.
The body of Lummus, known throughout the community as 'Aunt Hazel,' was found about 10:15 a.m. Monday by a relative who went to her home after she failed to show for a church event.
Lummus was found on the floor next to the front door of her home. An autopsy conducted Wednesday at the Georgia State Crime Lab in Atlanta revealed that not only had the woman's throat been cut, but she had endured "multiple stabbings" throughout her upper body area.
Ware, who lived next door to Lummus, also faces a charge of possession of crack cocaine lodged last week after an initial search of his residence.
According to reports, Ware was being held on the cocaine charge in the Upson County Jail on $5,000 bond when a warrant charging him with murder was signed by Superior Court Judge Pascal English.
The warrant accuses Ware of committing murder "when he intentionally caused the death of Hazel Lummus by inflicting blunt force injuries and stabbing Lummus with a bladed instrument."
"GBI Crime Scene Technologists processed the scene and the body and the body was transported to the GBI Crime Lab for further investigation," Greathouse said. "The GBI crime lab determined that Mrs. Lummus died as a result of multiple stabbings.
The police chief said a search of the woman's house on Friday made the arrest possible.
"Evidence found at Ware's residence linked him directly to evidence found" at the crime scene, according to the statement. "A search warrant was also obtained to seize property of Johnny Ware at the Upson County Jail."
J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the GBI's regional office in Greenville, would not say if a murder weapon had been found, but said authorities believe robbery was the motive in the murder.
Several members of the Lummus family attended the news conference and thanked law officers for their efforts.
According to reports Ware and his wife moved to Thomaston five months ago, but she returned to North Carolina two weeks ago.
The investigation is a joint effort between the GBI, Thomaston Police, Upson County Sheriff's Department and the Narcotics Task force.