The man wanted for the 1995 rape and murder of 14-year-old Nacole Smith has finally been identified, but the 49-year-old suspect died of liver and kidney failure last summer. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Atlanta Police Department did not release the suspect’s name during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. APD was able to use genetic genealogy to match DNA to the suspect, who also raped another teenage girl in East Point in 2004. Nacole took a shortcut through the woods on Campbellton Road while returning home to pick up a forgotten school project when she was raped and shot twice in the face. “I never imagined this person would be deceased,” Nacole’s mother Acquanellia Smith said during the press conference. “There are so many unanswered questions I had for him.”
Mayor Andre Dickens has extended the city’s mask mandate for all indoor public spaces, including private businesses, due to the continued COVID-19 surge. An executive order signed by the new mayor also empowers the city to issue $25 to $50 fines to people who refuse to put on a mask after a first warning. Dickens also signed an order placing a temporary moratorium on evictions for residents living in properties funded by city and county agencies.
MARTA has announced that there may be cancellations or delays in rail service due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19. The transit agency encouraged riders to allow extra time for their trips and check for service alerts. MARTA officials also announced that Atlanta Streetcar in Downtown remains suspended while repair work is completed after the right-of-way was damaged by construction crews working on a building site.