When Paul and Jennifer Budrawich went missing while on a visit to their children in Dawson County, Georgia, their family and friends were understandably concerned for their well-being. However, when 911 operators revealed that they had gotten a phone call from a woman who could be heard pleading with someone not to shoot her and her husband, the story took a darker turn.
The Investigation Discovery series ‘Murder Calls: Down by the River’ chronicles the search effort that led to the recovery of Paul and Jennifer’s bodies, as well as the subsequent investigation that led to the conviction of their assailants. If this case piques your interest and you want to know where the perpetrators of the murders are currently hiding, we’ve got you covered.
What caused Paul and Jennifer Budrawich’s Deaths?
A happy married couple, Paul and Jennifer Budrawich, lived in Effingham County, Georgia. They had two children and two grandchildren. Their friends and family remarked on how the pair frequently went out of their way to help others and how they were known to be pleasant people. Furthermore, Paul and Jennifer had a wonderful relationship with their children; yet, they had no way of knowing that travelling to Dawson County to see their children would result in such a horrible disaster for their family.
Paul and Jennifer were due to pay a visit to their children on December 20, 2009, however they failed to show up at their relative’s home on that day. The couple’s family was quite concerned and quickly contacted the police about their abduction, hoping for a swift resolution. The police received a report from a 911 operator who noted that the day before, someone had called the emergency number and said they were about to shoot her on a river bank. This was surprising because the incident occurred at the same time as the 911 operator’s report. During the call, the woman could be heard pleading for her life before a male voice cut in and threatened to kill her.
Following an investigation, the police conducted a large hunt for the Budrawichs, and were eventually able to discover their abandoned automobile in the parking lot of a grocery store in Pickens County. In addition, based on the 911 call, the police dispatched divers to explore the Amicalola river bed, which resulted in the discovery of Jennifer’s body in the river. Following Jennifer’s body being discovered, law enforcement officials were able to rescue Paul’s body from the riverbank a few days after Jennifer’s body was discovered. An autopsy later revealed that the pair had been shot to death with a low-caliber handgun before being shoved into the Amicalola river, according to the findings.
Who was responsible for the deaths of Paul and Jennifer Budrawich?
It’s worth noting that when detectives tracked down the Budrawichs’ automobile in the Pickens County grocery store parking lot, they saw a blue pickup without a tailgate sitting next to it in the same lot. Jacob Taylor claimed that he had rented the blue pickup truck to Jessie James Kilgore on the day of Paul and Jennifer’s murder, despite the fact that the truck was registered to Jacob Taylor, according to the television show. In the show, Jessie was revealed to be Jennifer’s stepfather, and it was revealed that he had raped Jennifer when she was seventeen, which resulted in the birth of Jennifer’s first kid. Jessie, on the other hand, asserted that he was in a different county on December 20, 2009, when questioned.
Determined to catch him in a lie, investigators obtained surveillance film showing a blue pickup in the parking lot and showed it to Jessie, who was forced to amend his narrative as a result of the evidence. This time, Jessie indicated that he had his nephew, Benjamin Kelly Mullinax, arrange up a meeting with Paul and Jennifer since they were having some issues that needed to be addressed. Jessie, on the other hand, stated that Paul had jumped him at the meeting location with a gun, forcing him to shoot the victim in self-defense, as evidenced by the identification production.
Despite Jessie’s denials, the detectives were never convinced, and when they brought Benjamin in for questioning, he disclosed the truth about what happened on that fateful day. Benjamin stated that Jessie was arguing with Paul and Jennifer on the riverbank when he got into a frenzy and shot both of them in the back of the head in broad daylight. As a result, the police arrested Jessie and Benjamin after obtaining an incriminating witness testimony from them. They were then charged with first-degree murder.
Where Is Benjamin Mullinax and Jessie Kilgore at Present?
Benjamin Mullinax entered a guilty plea to two counts each of murder, hiding the death of another, and tampering with evidence after being brought before the courtroom. In 2010, Benjamin was condemned to two consecutive life terms with the prospect of parole after thirty years, based on his conviction. Jessie Kilgore, on the other hand, agreed to a plea bargain and pled guilty to the same charges in 2010, earning him two life sentences without the chance of parole in exchange for his cooperation. This means that for the time being, Benjamin remains detained at the Central State Prison in the unincorporated Bibb County, Georgia, while Jessie is incarcerated at the Valdosta State Prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.