Teen murdered in McKenzie

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

MCKENZIE - Authorities continue their investigation into an apparent homicide/suicide in the small south Butler County community of McKenzie.

According to Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris, Donnie Pettaway, 20, and a 17-year-old juvenile female were found dead in front of the female's sister's mobile home on Elizabeth Street.

As news of the trag-edy spread, it quickly became apparent the victim was Candace Brogden, a senior at Georgiana High School.

Harris said both were dead when authorities arrived on the scene and the preliminary investigation left authorities believing both were shot in their heads. Harris said it appeared that Pettaway shot the female and then turned the handgun on himself.

She did not release the caliber of the weapon used, but a handgun was found at the scene.

"The bodies have been taken to a local funeral home and we are waiting for the Department of Forensic Science to come get them," Harris told reporters outside her office Thursday at noon.

Harris would not go into details of how the bodies were found, but did say Pettaway had a prior record for domestic violence.

"This is an extremely sad situation we have this morning and we hope to clear it up as quickly as possible," Harris said.

This town of approximately 600 people is usually quiet and is a typical, southern town that woke up to brutal news and were clearly shaken by the tragic event.

"It is a terrible thing to happen in our community," said Glenn King, owner of the McKenzie Mall.

"I feel for the families and I know that a lot of people are concerned about it."

Allen Lucas, another McKenzie businessman expressed his feelings as well.

"I didn't know the people but I feel for the families of everyone involved, " said Lucas. "You never think something like this will happen here."

One citizen, who asked to be identified only as a concerned citizen expressed an insecure feeling over the event.

"I am very frightened by this," said the citizen. "It scares

me very deeply to know that something like this can happen in our community."

Up the road from McKenzie, the GHS faculty and students felt shock over the events that claimed the life of one of their seniors.

GHS Principal Roland Pettie would not comment on the situation and said all media was being referred to Superintendent Mike Reed, who refused to comment on Brogden.

"It is our policy that we do not discuss our students in situations like this," Reed said.

"However, our deepest sympathy goes out to her family."

Reed said the system's first concern is the students at GHS.

"We have sent extra counselors to Georgiana today to help deal with this," Reed said.

"This is our usual procedure in a situation like this.

It is in our crisis intervention plan."

Sheriff Harris said the investigation will continue and more details will be released at a later time.