By Aisha I. Jefferson
Reward money now is being offered by the family of an Ellenwood man stabbed to death in January in an effort to help solve the county's first homicide of the year.
Charles "Charlie" Geiser III, 25, was found dead in the house he was living on Jan. 18, four days before his 26th birthday, according to his sister, Kathy Geiser. Although Geiser's roommate, Tammy Gagnon, discovered his body in the home on Clark Road in Ellenwood around 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18 and called 911, police believe Geiser's stabbing took place in the late morning hours of that day.
"It's been seven months since my son's been dead and still there aren't any arrests," said the man's mother, Denise Geiser, on why her family decided to offer reward money for information leading to arrests of the suspect(s) in this case. "I am a mother and I need to know who murdered my baby."
The amount of the reward has not been specified, but the decision to offer the money was made Wednesday, according to Henry County Police Lt. Jason Bolton.
"Often times, for whatever reason, people are reluctant to get involved. Offering a reward provides an incentive to come forward for those individuals that otherwise would not," Bolton said.
Kathy Geiser hopes that offering a reward will do just, and feels that somebody has information on her brother's death.
"Anybody who knows anything, we need them to come forward," said Kathy Geiser, adding that police have not released the names of any suspects to them. "I think for me, personally, this whole experience has devastated me."
Kathy Geiser said she is involved with Crime Victims Advisory Council in Vinings and actively involved in trying to generated as much information about her brother's death as possible.
But the police have run into a few roadblocks regarding this stabbing death, such as several people of interest in this case who have eluded police efforts to be interviewed, Bolton said.
"Several individuals have proven difficult to locate throughout the investigation," Bolton said. "That's not to say that these individuals are suspects, however, information learned during the investigation has led us to believe that they may have information that could assist us."
When asked how the individuals were eluding the police, Bolton said they have either changed phone numbers, changed jobs or have moved from their last known address.
In the meantime, police are waiting for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab to the send results comparing whether fingerprints found on a knife used to stab Geiser and those found on his cell phone, also found at the scene, match fingerprints from suspects. Detective Ren Swanson said fingerprints were lifted from the knife and cell phone in mid-May. Bolton said the GBI is still processing the evidence.
Denise Geiser said her son was living in the house on Clark Road because he was doing carpentry repairs there in preparation for Gagnon to lease and move into the home in February. Denise Geiser said she met Gagnon previously, and from what her son told her, he and his roommate were not romantically linked.
As a result of the initial homicide investigation, Gagnon was arrested and charged with several counts of financial transaction card theft and identity theft unrelated to the homicide, Bolton said. Police did not say whether or not she is a suspect.
Geiser and wife, Amy Geiser, leased the home from a friend of his mother between November 2003 and July 2004. Geiser and his wife separated about five months before his death. During the separation, Amy Geiser said she and her husband gave his mother temporary guardianship of their 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Denise Geiser said the children are doing well.
Amy Geiser also granted temporary guardianship of three children she has from a previous marriage to her mother.
It would be nearly two months following Geiser's death before authorities determined it was a homicide. The Feb. 2 shooting death of Stockbridge resident Catina Jordan, 32, previously was ruled the county's first homicide of the year. The deaths of Geiser, Jordan and Brittany Jones, 14, who was shot accidentally in June by her 15-year-old brother, are the county's only homicides reported so far this year.
Denise Geiser said her son's death has deeply affected she and her husband, who saw Geiser daily.
"I praise God that his last words to me were, 'Mom, I love you,' and his last words to his dad were, 'Dad, I love you'," said Denise Geiser, who saw her son the day before he died.
Anyone with any information relating to this case is encouraged to call Swanson at (678) 583-5364.