SPD: 3 charged with murder of woman missing since 2019

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Three men face murder charges in the death of a young woman reported missing in 2019.

Melanie Steele, 24, had been missing since September 13, 2019, according to the Savannah Police Department (SPD). Over a year passed until authorities confirmed in November that remains found earlier this year were those of Steele.

On Friday, SPD announced John Bailey, 22; Taj Gayle, 21; and Justin Path, 29; were charged with murder in connection to Steele’s death.

All three men were already in custody at the Chatham County jail on other charges.

Steele was last seen in the 2100 block of California Avenue and was apparently visiting the area from Alpharetta with her husband.

Family members pleaded with the public for answers in her disappearance, and other agencies, including the FBI, were called in to assist.

On March 18, 2020, human remains were discovered off of New Hampstead Parkway in the Bloomingdale area. DNA analysis has determined the remains are those of Steele, SPD said.

Further details, including a cause of death, have not been released. SPD said the case remains under investigation.

News 3 spoke with Steele’s mother shortly after her disappearance. Listen to the conversation below.

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