Tire iron used in brutal slaying of Gwinnett grandparents, cops say


Highlights

Wendy and Randall Bjorge were found dead Saturday.

“The cause of death for both victims was an incision to the throat,” police said.

Their teen granddaughter and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with the brutal slayings.

Their teen granddaughter and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with the brutal slayings.

Investigators believe other teens may have useful knowledge about the case.

New details emerged Thursday in the brutal slaying of a Gwinnett County couple allegedly killed by their 17-year-old granddaughter and her 19-year-old boyfriend.

Wendy and Randall Bjorge, 63, were found dead about 11 p.m. Saturday in their home in the 1900 block of Furlong Run near Lawrenceville, Gwinnett police said.

“According to the medical examiner,” police Cpl. Deon Washington said, “the cause of death for both victims was an incision to the throat. Both victims also suffered blunt force trauma and sharp force injuries.”

Cassandra Bjorge and boyfriend Johnny Rider allegedly stabbed, punched, kicked and used a tire iron on the girl’s grandparents, according to warrants obtained by Channel 2 Action News.

Bjorge’s mother, Amanda Sterling, told Channel 2 she “needs everybody’s love and support and strength” as she processes the charges against her daughter in her parents’ deaths. 


RELATED: Police: Granddaughter, boyfriend suspects in Gwinnett couple slaying

RELATED: Suspects in Gwinnett couple’s slaying linked to alleged beating

And that’s not all police revealed Thursday.

Investigators now believe the couple had been dead about one week before authorities found them and other teens “unrelated to the actual homicides” may have “information that proves to be critical for the homicide investigation.”

“We have reason to believe that after the homicides, teens that have not been accounted for may have been inside the home,” Washington said.

Police are asking parents in the area to question their teens and to come forward if they were at the house or contacted the suspects between April 1 and 8.

According to information released Thursday, Gwinnett police were called to Wendy and Randall Bjorge’s home often — 31 times between October 2015 and March.

“Out of that number,” Washington said, “we responded 18 times for runaway calls and at least eight times for check often as possible (calls) by request of neighbors. There were several other domestic dispute calls and illegal drug suspicion calls answered at the location.”

Cassandra Bjorge was known as a frequent runaway, authorities said. She and Rider face multiple charges in connection with the deaths.

Cassandra Bjorge was booked into the county jail Wednesday night on murder and aggravated assault charges. Johnny Rider was booked Monday on murder, aggravated assault and theft charges. Rider appeared in court Thursday.


 

RELATED: Woman faces murder charges in grandparents’ slaying 

“This is a very unique and disturbing case on so many levels, and detectives are still exploring motive,” Washington said. “We may never find a scenario that makes sense to a reasonable person.”

Case timeline from Gwinnett County police:

 

6:09 p.m. April 6: Welfare check requested for 1911 Furlong Run by family member who had not heard from couple in about one week. Police responded, knocked on the door and found nothing suspicious.

 

8:19 p.m. April 6: COAP (check often as possible) requested at 1911 Furlong Run due to not having any contact with couple.

 

4:43 p.m. April 7: Welfare check requested for 1911 Furlong Run by family member who had not heard from couple. Police responded, knocked on the door and found nothing suspicious.

 

8:58 p.m. April 7: Missing person’s report filed by family members for Randall Bjorge.

 

8:30 p.m. April 8: Assault investigation at 1685 Rambling Woods Drive. Johnny Rider and an unknown female attacked Rider’s sister and her boyfriend. Wendy and Randall Bjorge’s vehicle found at the location. 

 

11:13 p.m. April 8: Police force entry into 1911 Furlong Run and the two victims are discovered dead. 

 

11:29 p.m. April 8: Johnny Rider and Cassandra Bjorge steal his sister’s vehicle from 1685 Rambling Woods.

 

3:57 a.m. April 9: Stolen vehicle found at 4025 McGinnis Ferry Road, building No. 800. Surveillance initiated on vehicle.

 

9:54 a.m. April 9: SWAT activation at 4025 McGinnis Ferry Road.

 

12:13 p.m. April 9: SWAT apprehends Johnny Rider and Cassandra Bjorge at the location and they are transported to the hospital with self-inflicted knife wounds to their wrists. They have since been treated, released and booked into the county jail.

In other news:



Next Up in Local

Net neutrality vote: FCC OKs repeal of Obama-era rules
Net neutrality vote: FCC OKs repeal of Obama-era rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules meant to stop broadband companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who put forth the planned repeal and voted in favor of it Thursday, said it “certainly wasn’t heavy-handed...
Suspect in 2 Georgia bank robberies arrested in South Carolina
Suspect in 2 Georgia bank robberies arrested in South Carolina

Authorities have arrested a man they say was responsible for bank robberies in metro Atlanta, Athens and South Carolina. Athens-Clarke County police and FBI agents arrested Frank Douglas, 58, on Tuesday in South Carolina, police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez said in an emailed statement. Douglas was arrested on an unrelated charge, Rodriguez said. However...
DeKalb mom fights to help 8-year-old after suicide attempt in class
DeKalb mom fights to help 8-year-old after suicide attempt in class

The boy’s face was sullen as he tried — and failed — to concentrate on homework in his DeKalb County living room. Tears started to roll when his mom asked if he was OK. She tried to pick him up to hug his neck, but his body went limp, deflated.  The mother is struggling to help the 8-year-old after he attempted suicide in...
A new Georgia state senator returns from Alabama with hard-won lessons
A new Georgia state senator returns from Alabama with hard-won lessons

Doug Jones celebrates his election victory. (Bob Miller/The New York Times) Just after Nikema Williams won a runoff to represent an Atlanta-based Senate district, she got a phone call from Doug Jones operatives. They wanted her in Alabama to help with his U.S. Senate campaign. Immediately. And thus Williams, two days removed from her victory...
Snellville approves plan for walking, biking trails throughout city
Snellville approves plan for walking, biking trails throughout city

Snellville City Council approved the Greenway Master plan this week, clearing the path for a system of four recreation and transportation trails to be built within the city. The plan was approved unanimously. It is intended to increase Snellville’s walkability, city planner Austin Shelton said in a city release. “The goal is to create a...
More Stories