Mercer University Law School graduate Lauren Giddings vanished over the course of a weekend, and her worried classmates and friends alerted the authorities and started looking for her. When her body was discovered mutilated and put in a dumpster outside of her apartment in Macon, Georgia, the missing person case quickly changed into a homicide. This horrible incident and the subsequent investigation, which was successful in apprehending the killer of the innocent girl, are chronicled in Investigation Discovery’s “A Time to Kill: What Happened to Lauren.” Do you want to learn more about this case and the murderer’s current whereabouts? Let’s find out then, shall we?
How Did Lauren Giddings Die?
In Macon, Georgia, Lauren Giddings stayed in a rented residence. She had attended the Mercer University Law School. Lauren was also getting ready to take the bar test at the time of her murder. Her acquaintances reported that in the year before her death, the typically outgoing girl had been curiously distressed. While on vacation, Lauren had a sneaking sense that she was being watched and that someone was in her apartment moving things about. But she never felt as though her security was at danger.
Lauren Giddings, however, vanished around the final weekend of June 2011. Her family was not frightened because she had informed them that she would be preparing for her legal exams. But Lauren’s university pals suspected that something was awry. When they saw that her flat had not been broken into, the police who had been called to the scene hung up. The worry and anxiety intensified, and Kaitlyn, Lauren’s sister, even requested that a friend of Lauren’s use a skeleton key to enter her apartment. The companion discovered Lauren’s purse, keys, wallet, and student ID inside.
She had obviously not rushed out the door because even her car was visible in front. After four days, Lauren had not been located, so the police were contacted. When they searched the dumpsters outside Lauren’s apartment, they found something horrible instead of the missing person case they had come to investigate. They discovered a trash bag containing a brutally murdered and mutilated human torso inside the dumpster. Even the head was absent, and the limbs and legs were not joined to the body. Lauren’s torso was recognised.
Who Killed Lauren Giddings?
Following his arrest, Stephen Mark McDaniel admitted to killing Lauren. Lauren and McDaniel shared an apartment complex. He was Lauren’s classmate and a fellow law student at Mercer University Law School. He reportedly even asked Lauren out on a date once, but she declined because she was already seeing someone else at the time. One of them actively assisting in the hunt for Lauren was McDaniel.
McDaniel was discovered robbing condoms from two apartments in the building where he lived on June 30, 2011, the day the police were called to look for Lauren. A master key to every room in the apartment building was discovered on him, leading to his quick arrest. When detectives began digging into McDaniel, they discovered that he had inquired about how to carry out the ideal murder. A master key, a key to Lauren’s apartment, and a flash drive containing Lauren’s private images were discovered after his flat was searched. Additionally, the police discovered Lauren’s undergarments on him.
The police discovered damning evidence when searching his laptop. His online search history demonstrated that he frequently visited Lauren’s social media pages and that he would even look up violent pornography while seeing Lauren’s images. Authorities determined that McDaniel had a master key that allowed him to enter and exit Lauren’s flat whenever he pleased. They also found deleted video that McDaniel had recorded of Lauren’s apartment using a camera mounted on a pole to look through her windows.
Additionally, Lauren’s DNA was discovered on the cover of a hacksaw blade at his apartment. Long after maintaining his innocence, McDaniel finally decided to confess to the murder in 2014 as the evidence against him grew. He claimed to have broken into Lauren’s apartment and killed her by strangulation. She was left in the bathtub after being pulled there by him. Later that evening, he came back and dismembered her body using a hacksaw to make disposal easier. Even though the other pieces of her body were never found, he claimed to the police that they were in a different dumpster.
Where Is Stephen McDaniel Now?
Stephen McDaniel’s confession was accompanied by a victimisation claim, defamation of the police, and claims of improper questioning methods. He claimed that the cops neglected to give him the required medical attention and insulted and yelled at him. But in 2014, the judge gave Stephen McDaniel a life sentence based on his confession. In 30 years, McDaniel would have been eligible for parole.
McDaniel challenged his conviction in 2018 and alleged that the police had abused his rights during the course of their investigation. He argued that the police had wrongly conducted the search of his residence and that they had not promptly informed him of his rights. Later, his appeal was rejected. Stephen McDaniel is now detained at Georgia’s Hancock State Prison.
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