Altha Murder Suspect Arrested - Two Children Safe

It didn't take very long for sheriff’s officials to team up and capture a Calhoun County man suspected of shooting his grandmother and a family friend.

The murder and shooting took place around 5:00 Tuesday morning, but the slain grandmother and the wounded man were not found until late in the afternoon.

When they were found, two children supposed to be staying at the home in the 23000 block of North Watson Drive in Altha were missing and feared kidnapped, sparking an Amber Alert to be issued Tuesday night.

Sheriff David Tatum says Tuesday was not a normal day in this Calhoun County neighborhood.

"Anytime something like this goes through a small community it's tragic. We'll have our part of the investigation wrapped up within the next couple days."

People in this community like Odell Harrison still remember the lady with the green car that used to drive these roads every day.

"I see her come up and down the road everyday going to the store or somewhere. I didn't know her personally, but I see her a lot. She lived right up the road here."

Now Rubi Sampson is gone, her grandson, 19-year-old Edkah Marshall, is the main suspect and law enforcement officials are still looking for a motive.

Calhoun Sheriff David Tatum headed the investigation and says, "We do know that a theft occurred as part of the crime. The victim’s vehicle was stolen as well as some money from the victim. It could be a partial motive or a sole motive."

Marshall and two children found missing from the home were located at a motel in Mississippi where Marshall had gone to see relatives. The two children who were the subject of the nationwide Amber Alert were identified as 16-year-old Loretta Swearingen and 12-year-old Jonathan Sampson. They were recovered safely and had not been injured.

Deputies say Marshall was the boyfriend of the 16-year-old Miss Swearingen.

According to several family members, Edka Marshal, the suspect, recently sold some property in Franklin County and shared the proceeds of that sale with grandmother, Rubi Sampson, who he is accused of killing. They say after spending his portion of the money he returned to for the balance he had originally given to her as her share.

She was shot and her money was taken along with her car. Another man at the grandmother’s home, Gerald Wells, was shot, critically wounded and hospitalized.