Homicide suspect well-known to police

Published 12:07 pm Friday, December 30, 2011

Carolyn Denise Perkins, the 40-year-old woman charged with murder in connection with the Dec. 28 death of 85-year-old Gerald Woodward at the KOA Campgrounds, has also been identified as a suspect in two thefts occurring on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to police.

According to a Bainbridge Public Safety report, on the evening of Dec. 22, a resident of the 700 block of Hall Street stated a woman who said she was Perkins knocked on the door of his home and asked for a ride home. The resident agreed, but as they prepared to leave, he realized he had left his car keys inside. The woman offered to go retrieve them, but in the process also took the victim’s wallet, according to a roommate who was still inside the house. However, the victim didn’t notice his wallet missing until the next morning.

In the second theft, a Decatur County woman reported that she was at a gas station on Calhoun Street last Friday afternoon when a black female approached her and asked for a ride home, according to a BPS report. The victim stated she dropped off the second woman in the neighborhood off South Bruton Street. Shortly after, the victim noticed her purse, which had been on the rear floorboard of the car, was missing. The purse contained about $250 in cash, IDs and bank cards and a check book.

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Following up on the victim’s complaint, BPS Captain Robert Humphrey went back to the gas station and reviewed the store’s security video, which confirmed the victim had the purse inside the store and picked up the passenger. When asked about the woman seen on the video, the store’s owner reportedly stated “he thought her name was Caroline or Carolyn and she was always begging for money from the customers.” He stated that around the time the video was captured, he had gone outside and asked the woman to leave the premises.

BPS Investigator Chris Jordan said both the victim and store owner picked Perkins out of a photo lineup as the woman who had asked the victim for a ride. In addition, the victim had also accurately described Perkins’ height and weight when she reported the crime. Jordan said he anticipates filing charges against Perkins in both incidents.

The Decatur County Jail listed Perkins’ permanent address as 125 Beacon St., Camilla, Ga. However, according to investigators, she has family all over Bainbridge and has ties to the neighborhood bordered by Shotwell Street, South West Street and the U.S. 27/84 bypass. From there, the KOA campground — where Woodward’s RV trailer was located — can be easily reached by walking underneath the bypass along West Shotwell or West College streets.


Perkins’ history

Perkins has a felony history extending back to 1991, according to an online database maintained by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

She was convicted in Decatur County of cocaine possession and robbery from an incident in May 1991, and was later convicted in Decatur County of a robbery that happened on December 24, 1997.

For those crimes, she had served four stints in state prison: from March to May 1992, from October 1994 to June 1997, from October 1998 to January 2004 and from August 2004 to October 2006.