GBI investigates death of well-known Eatonton woman

- A well-known patron of the arts in Eatonton is the subject of a mysterious death case.

In a driving heavy rain Monday night, Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime scene technicians and Eatonton police gathered evidence at the home of Lydia Ivannatti, whose body was discovered in the bathroom by a family member Friday afternoon.

“They need beaucoup answers because this is strange, very strange,” said Barry Dooley, a lifelong resident of Eatonton, who said he goes to the same church as the victim’s family.

Dooley said he was compelled to stop by on the street of the home of Ivannatti after hearing the news of her death.

She was well known by staff and volunteers at the Plaza Arts Center, a nonprofit which brings the arts to local residents.

A spokeswoman said Ivannatti was the director from 2008 through 2012, adding everyone there is shocked by her  mysterious death.

Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence and others at the department were putting in extra hours on the case.

Chief Lawrence said the circumstances of the death are suspicious of foul play which is still under investigation.

“There are some answers we have got to get answered before we can move forward,” said Chief Eatonton Police Kent Lawrence.

The chief said the autopsy was completed on Ms. Ivannatti's body. But he said more examinations and tests are needed to provide the answers he and others are waiting on.

“We got to follow the evidence and where ever the evidence leads us that’s where we'll end up,” said Chief Lawrence.

“That type of thing doesn't go on around here very often. Everybody knows everybody,” said Barry Dooley.

Anyone with any knowledge in the case is asked to contact the Eatonton Police Department.

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