Our network

Warrant: McDaniel said he could get away with murder | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Warrant: McDaniel said he could get away with murder

MACON, Ga. -- 11Alive's Macon sister station 13WMAZ has obtained the full murder warrant against Stephen Mark McDaniel in the death and dismemberment of his law school classmate and neighbor Lauren Giddings.

The warrant says McDaniel, a 25-year-old from Lilburn, "has previously commented that he could commit murder and provided details of methods to avoid detection which are similar to the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing of Lauren Giddings."

The 27-year-old was last seen alive June 25. She had just graduated from Mercer Law School and attended Agnes Scott for College.

Five days later after her disappearance, police discovered her torso wrapped in plastic in a garbage bin beside the apartment building. Her other remains are still missing. 

The warrant for McDaniel says a hacksaw with traces of Giddings' DNA on the blade was found in a locked storage closet at their apartment complex, and packing material for the same-brand hacksaw was found in McDaniel's apartment.

The warrant adds that McDaniel had access to a key to Giddings' apartment and a master key for the entire complex. 

The owner of the apartment complex said she wouldn't describe McDaniel and Giddings as having been "friends." Boni Bush said McDaniel was known to be an unusual guy, and Giddings was a "very nice girl," who was kind to him.

Bush said when Giddings moved in about three years ago, she asked her tenant if she felt comfortable living next to McDaniel.

She said Giddings replied that he was "nice but weird." 

Bush has been hurriedly trying to get all the apartments involved in the investigation cleaned up for new tenants -- except Giddings' former home, apartment number 2 at Barristers Hall.

Bush said she'll live in that apartment for the year and called cleaning it up an "emotional" process.

13WMAZ's Eleanor Lissitzyn was invited inside the apartment Wednesday evening.

Signs of the investigation were all over.

There were holes in the walls where Bush said police removed evidence, and fingerprint dust coated doors and walls.

The bathroom had a ceramic tub with a series of scratches about a foot long visible on the outer edge. Lissitzyn said they were the type of scratches that one would expect to see on a kitchen cutting board.

Police have never said where they think Giddings was murdered, but they did confirm sending drains and pipes to the FBI for analysis.

Bush noted that McDaniel seemed to be stockpiling water. On the deck outside Giddings' apartment were about a dozen two-liter soda bottles that appeared to be filled with water, which Bush said she had taken out of McDaniel's home.

When McDaniel appeared in court Wednesday, his attorney, Floyd Buford, requested a commitment hearing, which was scheduled for Aug. 17.