Man's Wife, Mother, Brother Helped Him Cover Up Girlfriend's Murder: Police

Three members of a Georgia man’s family have been accused of helping him conceal the remains of his girlfriend, who he killed after she discovered he was secretly married, Clayton County Police Lt. Ashanti Marbury said at a press conference on Monday. 

Michale Edwards, 23, has been charged with murder in connection to the death of  Briana Winston, 23, and is accused of strangling her before stuffing her body inside a suitcase, Marbury said.

Edwards and Winston had an argument in the early morning of March 17, Marbury said. Police believe Edwards choked Winston to death after she found out he had secretly married another woman, 21-year-old Brienna Phillips-Edwards, in January.

Edwards and Winston shared a 4-year-old son, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Briana Winston via Clayton County Police Department
Briana Winston via Clayton County Police Department Clayton County Police Department

Marbury told reporters that Philips-Edwards, as well as Edwards’ 18-year-old brother, Keilan Wright, and his mother, 40-year-old Ebony Anderson, each played a role in helping him hide the body.

“It turned into a family affair. He definitely looped everyone into this crime,” Marbury said.

Winston was reported missing on April 1 and was last seen at an apartment she shared with Edwards in College Park, Georgia.

Winston’s cousin, Jasmine Walker, told Atlanta News First in April that her family reported Winston missing after not hearing from her and discovering her apartment had been cleared out.

“He took all her furniture. her clothes, everything,” Walker told the outlet.

After killing Winston, Edwards allegedly placed her corpse into a suitcase before enlisting the help of his wife, who gave him her car, Marbury said. Edwards drove to Tennessee, the officer added, where an unnamed man helped Edwards burn the body in his backyard.

Some of the burnt skeletal remains were scattered alongside a highway. Others were dumped behind a local church cemetery.

The man who helped Edwards burn the body was granted immunity as part of deal in exchange for information that led to the Edwards’ arrest, Marbury said.

Edwards was arrested on April 8 on an unrelated stalking charge, but called his wife in jail to tell her to burn his shoes and a pair of gloves, Marbury said. The Edwards’ wife, along with his brother and mother, allegedly burned the items in order to destroy evidence.

Court records reviewed by HuffPost showed that Phillips-Edwards was charged with party to commission of a crime. Both Wright and Anderson charges of conspiracy to commit a crime.

“I’ve just been crying every night because I wasn’t there to help her,” Walker told Atlanta News First. “I wasn’t going to sleep until she was found, and I’m not going to give up until justice is served.”