By Ed Brock
A friend of Charles Warren Reynolds said he did everything he could to help Reynolds, even coming to his apartment to pray with him after a tearful Reynolds called him early Sunday morning.
But when the friend and other members of the Riverdale Church of God came to that apartment in the Alexander Falls complex in Riverdale, he knew something was very wrong when Reynolds wouldn't say where his girlfriend Marissa Jeanne Vaziri was.
"That's when I jumped up and ran to the bedroom and saw her there like she was asleep," Reynolds' friend said.
An autopsy showed that Vaziri was strangled and Reynolds, who told police after his arrest that the two had been drinking and taking pills and that Vaziri's death was his fault, has been charged with murder.
Reynolds was denied bail during his first appearance before Clayton County Magistrate Chief Judge Michael Baird on Monday and a preliminary hearing in his case has been set for May 15.
"He's no monster," said the friend. "He was like my child ? I was probably the only family he had."
Along helping 38-year-old Reynolds in his everyday life, the man was trying to encourage the ex-convict to join the church and lead a more religious life.
Meanwhile, 27-year-old Vaziri's family and friends are preparing for a 3 p.m. Friday memorial service at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, the home of her parents, former professional wrestler Hossein Khosrow "The Iron Sheik" Vaziri and Caryl Vaziri.
It's been more than seven years since Jennifer Cooper of Douglasville saw Vaziri, with whom she was friends as a teen-ager.
"It's so strange, I was just mentioning her the other day," said Cooper. "It's just a shock, especially when it's somebody your age and you're so young and you think everybody will be OK."
Cooper described Vaziri as a smart, sweet girl, making her death even more disturbing.
Vaziri was an employee of Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. She had just bought a new car and had only been dating Reynolds for about six weeks.