Photo by Elaine Rackley: Valencia Hill, 54, of Ellenwood, holds up a photo of her grandchildren, Amari, Anastasia, and Briana Hill. Anastasia (center) was reported missing on March 6, 2010. Henry County Police have identified remains found Nov. 19, 2010 in Stockbridge as Anastasia Hill.
“She was full of life,” lamented Valencia Hill, 54, talking about her deceased, 14-year-old granddaughter, Anastasia Hill. “She was looking forward to learning how to drive, and get a job.”
Henry County Police notified the media, Tuesday, that they have positively identified a body found on Nov. 19, 2010 as that of the Henry County youngster.
Her remains were discovered in a wooded area on the side of Georgia Highway 138, in Stockbridge. She was reported missing from her Ellenwood home on March 6, 2010. An autopsy has been conducted, and her death was ruled a homicide, according to Henry Police Sgt. Joey Smith.
“I think somebody lured her out of here,” said the grandmother, who added that she had taken her granddaughter and her other grandchildren skating in Morrow, on the day before Anastasia’s disappearance.
“We had just come in from the skating rink on Mt. Zion,” she said. “We ate at the Steak ‘n Shake.”
Once they were home, she recalled, she “asked her to run a bath for her brother, and she did. I laid down and then I noticed she was running a bath for herself.”
The next morning, the grandmother said, she was about to take her grandson, Amari Hill, 9, to baseball practice at North Henry Park, in Stockbridge. Anastasia also has a younger sister, Brianna, 7.
“I opened her bedroom door to let her know I had cooked something, and to see if she wanted to go with us,” she continued. “I looked in the bedroom and she was gone, and her bedroom window was up.”
She said her granddaughter did not take any clothes, or bags. “Nothing was missing from her room, except her MP3 player. She took that. She just wouldn’t leave out of the house like that. It’s dark out here at night. She left her eyeglasses behind,” said Valencia Hill. “She can’t see without them.”
The senior Hill said the pre-teen had never run away from home. She said she called her daughter, Elisa Hill, to tell her the youngster was missing. The mother met with police at their Clark Road home to fill out a missing person’s report.
Elisa Hill called all of Anastasia’s friends, and they said the last time they saw her was at school, Friday, said the grandmother.
Hill was a ninth-grader at Stockbridge High School, who liked reading and skating, and was a “pretty good student,” said her grandmother.
Anastasia Hill had not been showing up for school, however, recalled Stockbridge Principal Eric Watson. He said members of the school community joined the family in disseminating flyers on Hill’s disappearance. The girl would have been a junior at the high school this year.
"I offer my condolences," Watson said. "You always hate to see something happen to a young person, or anybody. It’s very sad that that happened to her. We care about our students, and we love our students," he said.
Police are seeking the public’s help in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Henry County Police Department at (770) 288-8200.
“It’s possible she could have met someone at the skating rink, but I was with her and I didn’t notice anybody suspicious,” said Valencia Hill. “New people have moved into the neighborhood ... There’s no telling it could [have been] anybody.”
According to the grandmother, Anastasia was last seen with two boys, who are brothers. “Two days later, the boys’ daddy brought a braid to the house. It looked like one of Anastasia’s braids. She wore her hair braided,” said the grandmother. “He said, ‘I found this at my house.’ He told Anastasia’s mother Anastasia was at their house Saturday.”
Staff writer Johnny Jackson contributed to this article.