“On Sunday, August 6th, the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a possible homicide in Rabun County. The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office sent investigators to Hall County to question the subject about the possible homicide they reported to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office received reports that a female named Martha Angela Ledford was missing. Investigators began looking for the whereabouts of Angela Ledford and determined she was last seen the week prior.

Later Sunday evening, investigators with the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office discovered a possible crime scene along with what appeared to have been a shallow grave. At this time assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations was requested.

In the early morning hours of Monday morning, sheriff’s office investigators and GBI Agents learned that a body had been disposed of in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The sheriff’s office then requested the assistance of a cadaver dog, K-9 Koa.

Later Monday afternoon, our investigators and GBI Agents executed a search warrant at 128 Peppers Lane in Clayton, Georgia. It was confirmed by K9 Koa that human remains had been in what appeared to be a shallow grave. While that search warrant was being conducted personnel from both agencies responded to a location in the Chattahoochee National Forest on Patterson Gap Road where K9 Koa located the deceased human body that could not be identified properly at that time.

On Tuesday morning, with a murder arrest warrant for Keegan Phillips in hand sheriff’s deputies , GBI agents, agents with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, and personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigations were preparing to arrest Keegan Phillips. During that time it was discovered that Keegan Phillips was at a residence in Hall County being held at gunpoint by the homeowner. Just prior to the Hall County Deputies arrival to the residence on Gillsville Highway, Phillips fled in to the woods. Sheriff Nichols and some of our deputies responded to the area of Gillsville Highway to assist in the search. During the active search for Phillips in Hall County, personnel from the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office and the GBI conducted an additional search warrant for crucial evidence at 123 Alexander Lane in Clayton, Georgia where another crime scene had been discovered.

Later Tuesday evening, Keegan Phillips was apprehended and transported back to Rabun County by our deputies on scene that were assisting with the search.

Later that night, after multiple interviews Sheriff Nichols, our deputies, and GBI agents were lead to another property in the vicinity of Black Rock Mountain and retrieved critical evidence to this investigation and for prosecution of the case.

During the course of this investigation, it revealed that this was an isolated incident and there was no immediate threat to the citizens of Rabun County. The delay of public information on this incident was due to it being determined an isolated incident but primarily it was the result of critical evidence needing retrieved before it could possibly be destroyed hindering the prosecution of the case.

Investigators and agents have been in contact with Ledford’s family and we are currently waiting for the remains to be positively identified by the GBI Crime Lab.

Robert Lee Peppers of Lula, Georgia was arrested and charged with Concealing the Death of Another and Abandonment of a Dead Body.

Keegan Phillips of Otto, North Carolina was arrested and charged with murder.

Both subjects are being held in the Rabun County Detention Center with no bond.

We would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in this investigation and apprehension. All of our deputies and investigators along with these other agencies listed below did an outstanding job in bringing this case to a close. The hard work, perseverance, and dedication to holding the defendants accountable for their actions led to a quick resolution in this investigation.

-Georgia Bureau of Investigations
-GBI Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office
-Rabun County Search and Rescue
-K9 Koa and handler
-Mountain City Police Department
-Hall County Sheriff’s Office
-Gainesville Police Department
-Banks County Sheriff’s Office
-Habersham County Sheriff’s Office
-Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
-Georgia State Patrol
-Georgia Department of Corrections
-Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division
-Federal Bureau of Investigations

Sheriff Nichols would also like to personally thank Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch , Banks County Sheriff Carlton Speed, and Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum for responding and assisting in the apprehension efforts as well.

Most importantly, keep the Ledford family in your thoughts and prayers as they have lost a loved one by a senseless act of another.”