Man Charged in Murder of Real Estate Agent

October 1, 2008

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Columbus Police say they have arrested 39 year-old Rickey Powell for the murder of a local real estate agent. Investigators were led to the man after viewing the real estate agent's schedule book which indicated a Monday evening meeting in her office.

The victim's family says Herta Bailey, 70, owned a home on Pineneedle Drive that she was renting out to Powell.

Monday evening, police say the man met with Bailey in her office on Whitesville Road to discuss an eviction because he was behind on his rent.

Investigators say during the meeting Powell struck Bailey and strangled her to death. Then, he allegedly dumped her body in the trunk of her car --- taking some of her personal belongings, including some credit cards, which he used to pay two utility bills.

The following morning, co-workers found blood stains in the carpet at the office and became suspicious and notified police when she did not show up for an 8:00 a.m. appointment.

Later that morning, police set up a surveillance camera outside Powell's residence on Pineneedle Drive.  Around 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, Powell arrived and was arrested.

While in custody, Powell revealed to investigators the location of Bailey's body.  Muscogee County Coroner, Bill Thrower, says her body was discovered in the trunk of her car on 51st Street in Columbus around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.

The murder investigation is still on-going. Powell has been charged with murder, kidnapping, theft by vehicle, and identity fraud.  It's not known at this time if this crime was pre-meditated or if Powell's initial intent was to kill.