NEW DETAILS: North GA man accused of murdering grandmother - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NEW DETAILS: North GA man accused of murdering grandmother

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North Georgia investigators made an arrest in the murder of an elderly Walker County woman. Detectives say her grandson beat her to death. They found 74-year-old Joyce Fowler's body in her Chickamauga home over the weekend.

Monday afternoon, the GBI obtained a felony murder warrant for the victim's grandson, 30-year-old Joshua Fowler. The state crime lab is currently testing DNA samples, but detectives say they're confident he is to blame. The initial autopsy report done Monday, shows Joyce Fowler was beaten to death.

Neighbors regularly checked on the elderly woman who had Parkinson's Disease. When she didn't come to the door, they called police. Officers found her beaten to death on her bed.

"The murder weapon was located on the floor next to the bed," Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said.

Investigators won't say what the weapon was, but the preliminary autopsy states she was hit in the head with it.

Her grandson, Joshua Fowler was seen at the Mimosa Drive home earlier that morning.

"Prior knowledge of Joshua Fowler, he immediately came to the top of our radar," Sheriff Wilson said.

Joshua Fowler, on parole for drug charges, admitted to taking cocaine and meth last week. They say somebody rooted through Mrs. Fowler's prescription pill bottles, and suspect him due to what they consider a "severe drug addiction."

"Evident by his mannerisms, he was agitated, restless, nervous and pacing the floor Sunday morning when we were talking to him," Wilson said.

They arrested him on parole violation and got a search warrant on his 2005 Chevy Tahoe, which they found parked suspiciously in wooded area on the back of his property in Lafayette. Detectives found human blood throughout the interior.

"Very, very sad case to have to report," Sheriff Wilson said.

Sheriff Wilson knew Mrs. Fowler's late husband, who used to work for the county. He says they often helped Joshua Fowler financially. He fears money could be the reason he got into a fight that killed his grandmother.

"He may have went there demanding money, asking for money but that's only a theory at this point," Sheriff Wilson said.

Records show deputies had been called out to Mrs. Fowler's home 36 times in the last 18 years. The majority were in the last couple of years when her home alarm system alerted them. There were also calls on burglary, entering auto and domestic threatening. The department will not release details on Joshua Fowler's association with those calls.

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