On December 2, 1922, a Georgia-bound train was departing from the depot at Perry, Florida, when the crew discovered the body of a young girl lying in the tall grass beside the track. Halting the train, they inspected the body to find that the woman was "brutally beaten with some blunt instrument and her throat cut in such a horrible manner that death must have been instantaneous." Blood pooled around her body, and there were clear signs of a struggle. The crew immediately returned to the depot where they alerted the local authorities.

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