Missing Ga. Woman Once Thought to Be in 'Danger' Now Accused of Helping Suspected Killer on the Run

Georgia authorities who initially feared a suspected killer had kidnapped a missing 21-year-old woman have reversed course and now allege the woman may be helping the suspect evade capture after a murder.

The Butts County Sheriff’s Office did not identify the pair’s relationship in a Facebook post promoting the revised theory, which states that authorities “do not believe” that the woman, Autumn Keara Finley, is in danger any longer but is “instead assisting Cody Matthews to avoid apprehension.”

Separate social media posts by Finley’s mother, Denise Taylor, and Deana Ray Kimbrel, the aunt of alleged murder victim William Ryan Ray, both described the 20-year-old Matthews at Finley’s boyfriend.

He is wanted for murder and aggravated assault in the alleged shooting death Sunday night of Ray, 30, of Jenkinsburg, reports the Clayton News-Daily.

The victim leaves behind a 10-year-old son, according to Ray’s aunt. “Thank you in advance for your prayers, love, and condolences for our family,” she wrote.

In a previous statement, the sheriff’s office had said “Autumn Keara Finlay is in extreme danger and possible being held against her will.”

But according to the sheriff’s office update, “Autumn Finlay is wanted for aiding and abetting a fugitive.”

“If you know the whereabouts of these two individuals you are asked to call 911 immediately,” the office said in its statement. “They are considered armed and dangerous.”

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In her Facebook post, Finley’s mother challenged the allegation that her daughter had offered any kind of help to the suspect.


She added: “DO I AGREE WITH HER CHOICE OF BOYFRIEND ABSOLUTELY NOT BUT HOW MANY OF YOU PARENTS HAVENT AGREED WITH SOMEONE YOUR CHILD DATED …. my daughter was raised with values and morals and has a head on her shoulders she would never go without contacting us …. she is a great mom loves her boys they are her whole world and she never goes without speaking to them so those saying stuff about her and my grandbabies quit.”

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