Columbus attorney dead following murder investigation, manhunt - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Columbus attorney dead following murder investigation, manhunt

Richard F. Dodelin, a Columbus attorney, was the suspect in an intensive manhunt. Richard F. Dodelin, a Columbus attorney, was the suspect in an intensive manhunt.
42-year-old William Bullard, victim 42-year-old William Bullard, victim
(Source: Roslyn Giles) (Source: Roslyn Giles)
Police are searching for a man in the area of Hubbard, Fortson and Whitesville Roads. (Source: Roslyn Giles) Police are searching for a man in the area of Hubbard, Fortson and Whitesville Roads. (Source: Roslyn Giles)
A police car is staked out at the entrance to Double Churches Middle School. (Source: Roslyn Giles) A police car is staked out at the entrance to Double Churches Middle School. (Source: Roslyn Giles)

By Web Staff – email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - More details have been revealed in a murder investigation that turned into a daylong manhunt.  

 News Leader 9 has learned the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is taking part in the investigation.  Authorities tell us shots were exchanged between officers and Columbus attorney, Richard F. Dodelin, before the manhunt and after he was found. 

Timeline of events:

3:45: p.m.
-
  Columbus police confirm Richard F. Dodelin is dead.

3:43 p.m. - Scanner traffic indicates suspect is down.

2:45 p.m. - Columbus Police chief Rickey Boren tells media outlets that the suspect is still on the loose.

1:30 p.m.  -
Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson tells News Leader 9 she "hopes the suspect sees reason to lay down his arms, come out the woods and end this tragic period".

11:45 a.m. - Police in Phenix City notified to be on the alert  for the suspect

10:42 a.m.
- Attorney Richard Hagler on scene arrives to gain clearance

10:30 a.m. - Coroner arrives

10:15 a.m. - Major Stan Swiney of the Columbus Police Dept. confirms the manhunt is connected to an overnight murder; Centralized command post formed.

9:15 a.m. - Parents of children attending schools affected by lockdown receive a message from ConnectEd

8:45 a.m. - The city of Columbus sends out an automated phone message to the public saying that a massive search for a suspect in underway.

7:15 a.m. - Investigators say Richard F. Dodelin escaped into the woods behind the house carrying a long rifle.

It is normal procedure for the GBI to get involved in a case where officers open fire.

The manhunt ended when Dodelin was spotted in the woods near Pritchett Road.

Gunfire was exchanged between the SWAT Team and Dodelin.

As the SWAT team closed in, we are told Dodelin went behind a tree and shot himself.  

Dodelin ("Richie") was the suspect in a murder that occurred around 11;30 p.m. Monday. That night, investigators found a body at 84 Lumber Company on Fortson Road. [One man dead, police search for killer]

The victim, 42-year-old William Bullard, was pronounced dead a little after midnight Tuesday.

Police search for Dodelin in north Columbus hours later. A little after 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, investigators say they went to an unknown house on Hubbard Road looking for Dodelin.

After shots were fired, Dodelin escaped into the woods behind the house carrying a long rifle.

During the search, police lockdown schools and areas on Hubbard, Fortson and Whitesville Roads.

Police, sheriff's deputies, the SWAT team and a helicopter aided in the search. Those who knew Dodelin say he was familiar with the area and hunkered down in the woods for the majority of the day.

Muscogee County coroner Bill Thrower says Dodelin's body was taken to Atlanta for an autopsy.

According to Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren, the case remains under investigation. This is the city's first murder of the year.

Investigators are going back and forth with on a potential motive, but it seems a disagreement involving a child erupted between Bullard and Dodelin.

News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest information as soon as it becomes available.

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