VEHICLE RECOVERED/ARREST MADE IN RAY CITY MURDER

September 26, 2011

RAY CITY- On Monday, September 26, 2011, at approximately 6:30 am, Alachua County Florida Sheriff’s Deputies and GBI Agents arrested Dennis Gene Welch, 33, and Michelle Lynn Ziegenfuss, 30, both of Ray City Georgia on Theft by Taking warrants relating to the murder of Mrs. Jamie Wright.  GBI Agents had developed information that Welch and Ziegenfuss, 30, were in possession of Mrs. Wright's 2002 Dodge Dakota which was stolen from her residence and obtained the warrants on both individuals.  Welch and Ziegenfuss were located at the Ironwood apartments in Gainesville, Florida by Alachua County Deputies after being requested by GBI Agents to check that area. Mrs. Wright’s vehicle was recovered at the apartments.

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, at approximately 3:44 pm, Ray City Police were dispatched to the residence of Jamie M. Wright, 85, located on Jones Street in Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia. Ray City Police were dispatched in reference to a 911 call received advising Mrs. Wright had been discovered deceased inside her residence by family members. Ray City Police then requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Douglas office to assist in the investigation.

Initial Investigation revealed Mrs. Wright had been shot and an autopsy conducted at the GBI Crime Lab in Macon on Monday confirmed that she died of a gunshot wound. Additional charges are forthcoming in Georgia for both subjects to include a murder charge on Welch. Both subjects are being held in Alachua County until extradition is waived or a hearing can be held to return them to Georgia. Welch is originally from Michigan and he and Ziegenfuss had been living in Ray City for approximately one month.

The investigation is still on-going; therefore no other details will be released at this time. The Ray City Police Department, Columbia County Florida Sheriff’s Office and Alachua County Florida Sheriff’s office have all provided assistance in the investigation. If anyone has information pertaining to the investigation, please contact the GBI Douglas Office at 912-389-4103, GBI 24 hour number in Atlanta at 1-800-597-8477 or the Ray City Police Department at 229-455-2501.

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Contact Information: 
SAC Russell Mansfield - 912-389-4103; Ray City Police Chief Roy Bamburg - 229-455-2501