Phenix City woman murdered, suspected husband found dead - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Phenix City woman murdered, suspected husband found dead

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Photo credit: Chuck Leonard. Photo credit: Chuck Leonard.
Photo credit: Chuck Leonard. Photo credit: Chuck Leonard.
Photo credit: Chuck Leonard. Photo credit: Chuck Leonard.
Tonya Charles. Photo courtesy of Felieicia Barnes. Tonya Charles. Photo courtesy of Felieicia Barnes.

Update: Funeral arrangements have been made for Tonya Moses-Charles. She will be laid to rest Saturday, March 1st at 1 p.m. at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Phenix City.

Click here to see the timeline of events.

The Columbus Police Department responded to a reported shooting in the back parking lot at the Columbus Department of Public Health, located at 2100 Comer Ave., at about 8:07 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21.

The coroner confirmed that the victim is Tonya Moses-Charles, 44, of Phenix City. She was transported to the Medical Center, and was pronounced dead at 8:56 a.m. According to the coroner, Tonya was shot seven times. She was an employee of the Division of Family and Children Services.

Hours later, Tonya's estranged husband, 53-year-old Lyle Charles, was found in the back seat of his car near Fortson Business Park Blvd in Columbus. He died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

The couple married last March, but separated in last month.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says AT&T pinged Lyle's cell phone to find him. Bryan also says the couple did not have children together.

Earlier today, initial investigation by the police department indicated that there were relatives of either Tonya or Lyle attending school in Phenix City. The Phenix City Police Department advised their district's schools to implement a precautionary lockdown due to the murder incident in Columbus, according to Marcia Farrar, Executive Secretary of Operations.

Ron Hinton, Interim Superintendent of Phenix City Schools, says the victim had children at Central High School and Phenix City Intermediate School (PCIS). Hinton says Lyle, whose identity had not been revealed to the public at the time, was on the list of people with permission to check the children out of the school.

Central High School was on lockdown, the elementary school was on yellow lockdown, and PCIS was on red lockdown. Seventh graders at PCIS told News Leader 9 they hid under desks during the lockdown.

All lockdowns were lifted.

Columbus Police made the Muscogee County school system aware of the circumstances so they could take appropriate actions based on all available information if necessary.

Police say this is the fourth murder of the year in Columbus. They say situation appears as if this was a Murder/Suicide, but the investigation is still ongoing.

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