A Barrow County man faces a Felony Murder charge following a brief investigation regarding the death of a Gainesville woman late last month.
Bethlehem resident Gianluca Gomez, 30, also faces charges of Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in the death of Lilian Andrade, 26.
The Gainesville Police Department says the investigation began in the early morning hours of March 30, when officers were called to the 600-block of Tate Street, not far from Pearl Nix Parkway. The initial call to the 911 center came in just before 2:30 a.m.
Foul play was suspected after a preliminary investigation was carried out, prompting the GPD to request the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
"As soon as there was an indication foul play was involved, I wanted to make sure we had as many resources possible to bring a swift and just investigation to the table for our community. We had a victim of a violent crime in our community and I knew time was of the essence," said Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish. "We have family and friends of the victim whose lives have been forever changed because of this heinous act. The sooner we had answers and a suspect in custody, the sooner our community can start the healing process."
Police spokeswoman Cpl. Jessica Van said any potential motives are still under investigation. "The case is still an open investigation and that is actually part of the investigation," Van said. "We are not able to release that right now."
The GPD said information pointing to a likely suspect was gathered through a combination of neighborhood canvassing, input from the Gainesville community and the analysis of intelligence and evidence.
This information led to a coordinated effort between the GPD, GBI and Barrow County Sheriff's Office that resulted in a search warrant being carried out at Gomez' Barrow County residence on April 1.
In addition to the charges filed against Gomez for his alleged role in Andrade's death, the results of the search warrant led the GBI to file two Violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act charges against the suspect.
"I am thankful for our investigators and their coordination with the GBI. This outcome would not have been possible without their dedication to serving our community," Chief Parrish added. "I am proud to lead an agency that is truly passionate about seeking justice and ridding our community of evil. More importantly, I am proud of the hearts they have that love our community."