HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Saturday death investigation in the Hub City has been ruled a homicide, and the victim has been identified.
The victim has been identified as 61-year-old Ann Georgian, a former Hattiesburg Public School District teacher and administrator.
Police arrived to the 300 block of Mamie Street Tuesday afternoon after family members advised they had not seen her in several days and requested a welfare check, according to Hattiesburg Public Information Officer Lt. Jon Traxler.
Police and crime scene technicians were called to the residence in connection to the investigation.
"This is a tragedy I don't know what the world has come to but this has got to stop, it's terrible," said Howard Ezell, a friend of Georgian.
Georgian was discovered deceased in a wooded area off Xavier Street, behind the Hattiesburg Public Schools Administrative Offices around 10:45 a.m on Saturday.
The victim's dog is missing at this time, according to Traxler. It is believed the victim was killed in the area early Saturday morning, according to authorities.
Ezell said he heard the story on the news about a woman who was deceased by the wooded area off of Davis street and decided to call the cops after he talked to Georgian's brother, Gus.
"He said he hasn't seen his sister since Friday and we started putting stuff together and called 911, called the police over here and they figured it out," Ezell said. "She was out walking her dog. Her dog is missing and her phone is missing."
Georgian worked for the Hattiesburg Public School district for several years and was a former assistant principal at Hattiesburg High School.
She taught German and English at Hattiesburg High in 1984, and retired in 2002, according to Jimmy Hopkins with HPSD.
She received a doctorate in education leadership from The University of Southern Mississippi.
"My heart is broken, their heart is broken, they've been through a lot and this is terrible," Ezell said.
Her neighbor, Hazel Brezealle, lives right next door and said she came home and saw her brother Gus inside his car upset.
"He was just broken, completely broken," Brezealle said.
Ezell said he is still cannot believe what happened.
"This should not happen, especially not in this quiet neighborhood," Ezell said.
According to Forrest County Deputy Coroner Jonathan Nobles and Hattiesburg Police, the cause and manner of death is not being released at this time pending the ongoing investigation.
If you have any information regarding the case, contact Hattiesburg Police or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP.