Deputy Todd Hutchens an investigator with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office held a joint press conference today along with John Durden, Special Agent in Charge with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at the Region Five G.B.I. Office in Statesboro in reference to the Bonnie Lanier Rushing homicide.
Friday afternoon, Lee Allen Mayhew broke into Bonnie Rushing’s home, which was approximately five miles from the initial burglary report on Thursday. At some point he made contact with Bonnie Rushing and shot her, killing her.
He then stole her vehicle and fled the scene. He was tracked to Florida, where he was arrested without incident Friday night in Columbia County, a few counties west of Jacksonville.
Mayhew had no prior connection to Rushing or Bulloch County
At the press conference Deputy Hutchens confirmed Rushing and her alleged killer Lee Mayhew did not know each other. He said Mayhew was a federal fugitive out of Tennessee wanted on firearms charges. He was on the run and they do not know why he chose her home or Bulloch County. Preliminary investigations indicate he had no connection with Bulloch County including family or friends.
Mayhew Acted Alone
It was reported earlier that there may have been more than one person involved in the burglaries. Deputy Hutchens stated that there was no indication anyone well else was involved in the burglaries or the homicide of Bonnie Rushing. They also confirmed there was no one else in the home with Rushing was killed.
They have began the extradition process for Mayhew. Bulloch County Deputies and GBI officers are in Columbia County, Florida now. The traveled there today to process evidence from the car and to interview Mayhew.
Extradition Process Began – Deputies and GBI Agents in Florida now
After the burglary on Thursday they identified Mayhew as the primary suspect. Deputy Hutchens said they were able to identify based on locating the car he had fled Tennessee in. He faces charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by taking motor vehicle, and burglary.
Cause of Death Pending Autopsy
Deputy Hutchens would not confirm the cause of death for Rushing. He said her body was at the GBI crime lab where an autopsy is being performed. That will confirm the cause of death. He did say she had received gunshot wounds.
Extremely Rare in Bulloch County to See a Random Murder
Deputy Hutchens said that it is extremely rare to see a random murder like this in Bulloch County. Typically homicides occur between people who have some connection.
Funeral Arrangements for Bonnie Lanier Rushing
The family will receive visitors on Wednesday October 28, 2020, from 4:00 pm until 8:00pm in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro.
Funeral services will be Thursday October 29, 2020, at 2:00pm in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home with Rev. Chip Strickland and Elder John Scott officiating.
For those desiring to view the service, a livestream will be available via Facebook group “Joiner-Anderson Live Stream” at https://www.facebook.com/groups/jafhlive/.
Interment will be in Bulloch Memorial Gardens with Rev. Chip Grantham officiating.
You can view Bonnie Lanier Rushings full obituary here.