By Eli Masket, CNN
(CNN) — The husband of a Georgia mother of four who had been missing for more than two weeks was charged with her murder after her body was recovered Friday, authorities said.
Donell Anderson was arrested and charged in connection with the disappearance and death of Imani Roberson, Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett told reporters at a Saturday news conference.
Roberson was last seen on July 16 in Atlanta while driving home with two of her children from her mother’s house after dinner. Her mother, Clarine Andujar-White, attempted to contact her daughter multiple times the next day without a response.
Andujar-White eventually visited her daughter’s home in Conyers, a city about 24 miles east of Atlanta, only to find it empty.
Authorities began their search on July 17 after Andujar-White reported Roberson as missing. Investigators were immediately suspicious after visiting the home, the sheriff said: “It was clear that foul play was evident in the disappearance of Imani.”
Blood was found in Roberson’s home and multiple other places, according to the sheriff’s department. More than a week later, Roberson’s car was found after it had been set on fire.
By the time her body was located Friday with K-9 assistance, authorities were ready to charge her husband.
“When that body was found, it was our mission, especially mine, to make sure that we could convince our judges and/or DA’s office that we have enough evidence to secure a warrant and to get him off the street,” said Levett.
Anderson has been charged with felony murder, malice murder and aggravated assault along with possession of a firearm during commission to attempt a felony, according to Rockdale County online records.
Anderson was represented by a public defender in an initial court appearance Sunday morning, though he will eventually retain his own lawyer, according to the sheriff’s department.
The Rockdale County Public Defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Levett also told reporters he could “assure” them that another individual will be arrested in connection to the case, and the investigation is ongoing.
Both of Roberson’s parents spoke during the news conference.
“Late last night, my worst fears were confirmed, and our family is devastated,” said Andujar-White.
Roberson’s father, Ronald Acklin, grew emotional during the news conference, saying this was not the first time he had lost a child and he was prepared for the news of her death.
“I’ve made my peace with it,” he said.
Levett stressed the dangers of domestic violence during the conference, urging victims to speak up.
“If there’s anyone that’s out here that is involved in a toxic relationship, whether you are receiving mental abuse, verbal abuse, or physical abuse it is not worth keeping quiet and we need for you to step out and say something so we can end such tragedies like this,” said Levett. “These are four kids now without a mother and unfortunately now without a father.”
The children will now be in the care of their grandparents, Levett said.
A candlelit ceremony for Roberson will take place on Monday in Conyers.
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