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UPDATE: ARREST MADE – GBI and Ware County Sheriff’s Office Seeking Public’s Help in Homicide Investigation

UPDATE from GBI 7/13/2022:

Bernard Rittenhouse, age 55, of Waycross, has been arrested and charged with two counts of felony murder and one count of burglary, in connection to the deaths of Charles M. Barnett and Virginia D. Thomas. Rittenhouse is Virginia Thomas’ son. He was taken to the Ware County Jail on July 12, 2022.

On Monday, July 11, 2022, the GBI Douglas Regional Office was requested by Ware County Sheriff Carl James to conduct a death investigation. A relative made a 911 call at 8:49 a.m. saying Charles M. Barnett, age 75, and Virginia D. Thomas, age 73, were found deceased at their home at 2906 S. Lakeview Drive, Waycross, Ware County, GA. Deputies arrived and found the couple deceased with apparent gunshot wounds.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Ware County Sheriff’s Office at (912) 287-4326 or the GBI Douglas Office at (912) 389-4103. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Once the investigation is complete, the case file will be given to the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.


Original 7/12/2022:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Ware County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s help with the investigation of a recent double homicide in Waycross.

Virginia Thomas and Charles Barnett were found on Monday, July 11, 2022 deceased in their home. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the GBI Douglas Office at 912-389-4103 or the Ware County Sheriff’s Office at 912-287-4327.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

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