Snellville Police arrested 43-year-old Joanna R. Hayes of Lilburn for the murder of 25 year old Heather Strube of Conyers. Hayes is the mother of Heather Strube's estranged husband, Steven Strube of Lilburn.
Police say Hayes disguised herself as a man to commit the murder of her own daughter in law. They believe that Joanna Hayes walked around the parking lot of the Target store in Snellville on April 26, 2009, waiting for her time to strike.
Police said Hayes knew her son Steven Strube would be meeting with Heather Strube at the location. According to police, Joanna Hayes approached Heather just as Heather had buckled her young son Carson into the SUV.
Police believed that Heather recognized the person, even though allegedly Joanna was wearing the wig and fake mustache. They had an argument. Heather broke loose from the perpetrator and walked around the front of the SUV to the driver's door. Heather just wanted to get in the vehicle and drive. Heather's entry to the vehicle was blocked by the disguised person. There was a scuffle, and Heather hunched over was shot her in the head. The murderer then casually but quickly walked away toward the parking lot behind the Target store.
Police had witnesses who had seen the person in the black wig and mustache in the parking lot of the hotel located behind the Target shopping center.
By late May of 2009, the white pick up truck was in custody and was being searched for trace evidence by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead also confirmed to the media that the pick up truck belonged to a member of Heather Strube's family. Another news source leaked that the truck belonged to Heather Strube's in-laws, but that police declined to be any more specific about the person. Later, the police did identify Heather's mother-in-law as a "person of interest" in the killing.
Joanna Hayes has been charged with felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Steven Louis Strube Jr. was arrested in July for parole violation on a charge of Felony Theft by Receiving, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Department. He is scheduled for release on November 1, 2009.
Here are some links relating to this case:
VIDEO of Joanna Hayes being interviewed by WSB. Says family has been treated unfairly by police. On video, her lawyer, custody lawyer, Private Investigator who administered Voice Layered Analysis. Hayes has been asked to take a more official polygraph by the GBI, she has said "maybe."
Sept 2, 2009 AJC Article: Article says police say Steven Strube lied to them about his identity when they went to tell him Heather had died. Strube's lawyer says Steven wants to work to get custody of Carson when he gets out
Fox 5 Atlanta has an interview with Heather's parents, Henry H. Allen III and Mary Caroline McKinnon Allen.