APD investigating East Albany homicide

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- An abandoned car could be evidence in the Yolanda Roundtree homicide investigation, said an Albany Police Department official.

Roundtree, 45, was found dead by concerned family members about 6:45 p.m. Friday in her Wild Pines apartment 403 at 600 Sands Drive, an Albany Police Department report stated.

Police said the case was a homicide. They began looking for Roundtree's missing white, 1997 Buick LeSabre Friday night, Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman, said.

"A police officer responded to a call in reference to abandoned vehicle at 4:35 (p.m.) today (Saturday),"Banks said. "When he arrived at the scene he learned that it fit the description of the vehicle we have been looking for."

The four-door LeSabre with a blue and white drive- out tag was called in as abandoned by Saralyn Daniels, 56. It was parked behind her home on the 1300 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Daniels said she called the missing car in Friday morning. Because police did not immediately respond she called again Saturday. Daniels did not know the car was wanted as part of a homicide investigation that started Friday night.

Police impounded and plan to process the Buick LeSabre and its contents for fingerprints, Banks said. Any evidence collected could lead to suspects in the homicide or to someone with no involvement, she added.

The timeline of having the car reported abandoned Friday morning before Roundtree's body was discovered in the evening could suggest that she died before Friday.

Police could release the time of death, cause of death and further details on the homicide when an autopsy is completed, Banks said.

"(Roundtree's) body has been taken to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy," Banks said. "Detectives continue to interview witnesses and are working diligently to develop suspects."

Roundtree's family sat outside Saturday in front of an apartment just a few doors down the cul-de-sac from her apartment where she was found.

Yellow crime tape fluttered in the wind as police crime scene investigators worked in the apartment. The family's shock showed through empty expressions.

"I'm just in shock," Angelia Woods, Roundtree's sister, said. "I don't know what to say right now. I don't understand how this happened."

Other family members did not find it easier to speak.

"She was a good person, fun, a real good person," Jackie Price, a sister, said. "She was real special. She could keep you laughing."

One of Roundtree's nephews said he just couldn't understand.

"She was good," Christopher Price said. "I just don't know how this happened."