On the 24th of August 2012, Hannah Truelove (16) was discovered deceased in a wooded area behind the Lake Lanier Club apartments where she lived with her mother in Gainsville.
On the 23rd of August, Hannah's mother had reported her missing at 10 pm. An autopsy revealed that Hannah had died after receiving multiple stab wounds. She was found on the evening of the 24th by a Grandfather walking through the wooded area to visit his grandchildren.
Previously, Hannah had mentioned a stalker on her Twitter account and said in another post that she was 'scared'. On the 12th of August, she posted: ‘I got me an ugly-ass stalker’ and followed it up with a tweet that read, ‘This can’t be happening…’ The following week, on August 18, she wrote: ‘So scared right now.’ Fours days later, on August 22, the day before she was reported missing, she tweeted: ‘I need to move out of these dang apartments.' However, she never mentioned being having a stalker to her parents, and she did have the option to move in with her father in Jackson County.
Her mother also revealed that she was scared of catching the bus to school and that it's possible someone on the bus had been making her feel unsafe.
Day - Hannah attended Gainesville highschool as normal.
4 pm - 7:30 pm - Hannah is seen by neighbours in the courtyard, where she spent some time socialising with friends.
9 pm - Hannah's mum reports Hannah missing to police after she'd come home and had a nap, and Hannah still wasn't home - which was unusual. She had called around to see if anyone had seen her, then called the police. A search was conducted but did not include the wooded area - possible because that area technically fell outside their jurisdiction.
Morning: Police visit the Gainsville Highschool to interview students to see if they knew anything.
10 pm: A man discovers Hannah's body in the wooded area just 100 yards from her house.
The investigation was difficult because over three inches of rain had fallen the night Hannah had been killed, causing the ravine where her body was found to fill with run-off water from storm drains. At some point during the night, Hannah’s body had become submerged in a stream of running water that had washed away any physical evidence.
The police thought that Hannah likely knew her killer and went into the woods willingly. This is because there were many people about in the afternoon and evening, who would have seen or heard her being abducted. They also believe there may have been several people present at the time of her murder - some of whom may not have participated but do have vital information.
Two weeks after the murder, officials announced that they were trying to locate a car that had been seen at the Lanier Lake Club apartment complex on the evening that Hannah was killed. The car they were seeking was described as being a light silver four-door sedan, possibly a Dodge or Chevrolet, with significant front-end damage. The driver’s door was a different color than the rest of the car, possibly white or a lighter silver.
There had been three occupants in the car; a witness recalled seeing a male get out of the backseat of the car and walk around the apartment complex. About 15 minutes later, this male walked past the witness again, heading in the direction of the wooded area behind the apartment complex. At the time, Hannah had been walking about 15 steps behind him; it’s unclear if she was following him or simply walking in the same direction. Detectives noted that the occupants of the car were not being considered suspects in the murder; Hannah was seen by herself about an hour after the car had left.