Cold case murder victim identified

Published 8:31 pm Thursday, December 14, 2023

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The Troup County Sheriff’s Office has announced the identification of the victim of a 16-year-old cold case homicide.

In 2007, deputies located the remains of a woman inside a bag off of Whitfield Road but authorities — including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation — were unable to identify the female.

With the help of multiple forensic labs, authorities were able to identify the woman as Nicole Alston.

Deputies began investigating the case on the morning of Dec. 6, 2007, after responding to the corner of Whitfield Road and Stitcher Road about a suspicious black bag that appeared to be burning. Deputies arrived and discovered what appeared to be human remains that had been dumped at the location along with a smoldering bag.

At the time, it was difficult to identify the remains as the head, hands and feet were missing.

The remains were sent to the GBI Crime Lab for identification but they were only able to confirm that it was a homicide and that the victim was an adult black female. Deputies say the case went cold after an extensive investigation with no substantial leads or identification being made.

In early 2023, while reviewing cold cases, DNA was sent to Innovative Forensic Investigations in Emporia, VA, and Gene by Gene Laboratories in Houston, TX for analysis and genetic genealogy forensics. The results were later sent to the GBI crime lab for comparison and on Dec. 13, 2023, TCSO were informed that a positive DNA match had been made.

Deputies say Alston had been 24 years old at the time of her death. Her last known residence was Manhattan, New York but investigators confirmed she had moved to the Atlanta area in July 2006 after speaking with her family. Family members had not heard from her since the move. Sheriff’s investigators have reopened the case due to the new information and continue the homicide investigation.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the TCSO Criminal Investigation Division at (706) 883-1616 or Troup Crime Stoppers at (706) 812-1000.