Bainbridge woman charged with murder

Published 9:15 am Friday, December 30, 2011

Carolyn Denise Perkins

A local woman has been charged in connection with the death of an elderly man at the KOA campgrounds on Wednesday night.

Carolyn Denise Perkins, 40, of Bainbridge, has been charged with murder in the death of 85-year-old Gerald Woodward, who collapsed after an apparent robbery at his RV trailer. Perkins was arrested at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday, after Public Safety Officer John Mills spotted her on Campbell Street, about a mile from the campground.

Bainbridge Public Safety officers responded to the campground, located off West Shotwell Street across from the Earle May Boat Basin, at about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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A campground guest had called 911 to report that a man, later identified as Gerald Woodward, approximately 85 years old, had collapsed after going to a neighbor’s trailer for help.

“Our preliminary investigation showed that [Woodward] was possibly the victim of a robbery in or around his RV trailer prior to collapsing,” BPS Chief Investigator Frank Green said.

Woodward passed away a short time later at Memorial Hospital and police are now treating his death as a homicide, Green said.

Some Florida hunters who were staying at the campground, one of whom had an EMS background, began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and continued it until Decatur County EMS arrived at the scene, Green said. Woodward was taken to Memorial Hospital by ambulance, where he passed away.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Thomasville, Ga., office is actively assisting BPS with the investigation into Woodward’s death. Decatur County Sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units from the Apalachee Correctional Institute in Sneads, Fla., also responded to the campground Wednesday night.

Interviews with witnesses and other parties helped investigators identify Perkins as a suspect in Woodward’s death, Green said Friday.

“I can’t get into details at this point, other than to say that we have evidence to support the charges [against Perkins],” he said.

An autopsy of Woodward’s body will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death, Green said.