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(UPDATE) – Decatur murder victim identified

Decatur Metro ATL

(UPDATE) – Decatur murder victim identified

Karen Pearce. Photo obtained via Facebook.

Karen Pearce. Photo obtained via Facebook.

This story has been updated. 

Decatur Police have identified the woman who was murdered in downtown Decatur on Dec. 6.

Police say that Karen Pearce, 44, of Smyrna, Ga., left a local restaurant and was walking close to where her vehicle was parked. A witness reported hearing a gunshot in the area before Pearce’s body was discovered near a parking deck near One Decatur Town Center.

“Preliminary investigation revealed the victim was shot,” Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross said on Sunday, Dec. 7. But on Monday, Dec. 8, Ross said “the cause of death has not yet been determined.”

When asked to clarify, Ross said, “It appeared she had been shot but we always have to wait for confirmation from the medical examiner.”

Police are asking for the public’s help with this case.

“Investigators are working around the clock to identify a motive and suspect in this case,” Ross said. “If you have any information please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404/373-6551 or Crime Stoppers at 404/577-TIPS or online at http://www.crimestoppersatlanta.org/index.”

A Decaturish reader said that on Dec. 6, around the time the body was discovered, police officers interviewed staffers and patrons at local restaurants trying to find more information about “a thin, white female in an orange skirt.”

Pearce worked as a stylist at True Salon in Marietta, Ga. The salon was closed Monday as employees mourned their colleague.

“It is with profound sadness that we can confirm Karen Pearce, a talented and popular stylist at true Salon/Spa, was killed Saturday evening,” the company said in a post on its Facebook page. “While we are all in shock and grasping to understand how something so tragic could happen to a woman with such a beautiful heart, we must believe justice will prevail.”

John Bulluck, a friend of Pearce’s, provided additional photos of her. Bulluck said Pearce was originally from Kinston, N.C. She’s lived in Atlanta for almost 11 years and Bulluck said he saw her during the Thanksgiving holiday. Bulluck said Pearce’s friends and family are still sorting through the details of what happened.

Here are the photos Bulluck provided:



Correction: An earlier version of this story provided incorrect information about where witnesses found the body of Karen Pearce. Her body was discovered near the parking deck at One Decatur Town Center.