Slain West Ga. student was longtime Fayette caregiver


Marcelle “Marcy” Elliot and her family lived for years in Fayette County where they provided foster care and other services for the Fayette County Dept. of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).

A student at the University of West Georgia whose family had relocated to Cobb County in 2006, 21 year-old Elliot was murdered last week in Carrollton and a former friend from the school has confessed to the killing.

Elliot had been missing since last week. Her body was found Wednesday near a swamp in Carroll County. A former friend from West Georgia, 29 year-old Farrah Strength has been charged with felony murder, according to reports. Strength and 31 year-old Joshua Clay were arrested Thursday and both have been charged with murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence, reports said.

Marcy Elliot attended Starr’s Mill High School until she and her parents David and Ivette moved to Cobb County in 2006. But there was much more to the work done by the Elliot family in Fayette County than most here would know. That was due to the confidential nature of the work they performed.

Former Fayette DFCS Social Services Supervisor Donna Underwood first met the Elliot family when she transferred to Fayette County in 2000. The whole Elliot family at that time already had a history as strong workers with DFCS, Underwood said, with David and Ivette providing foster parent services and the couple, along with Marcy, providing a wide array of volunteer efforts.

After the move to Cobb County, David and Ivette adopted two little girls from Fayette County, Underwood said, adding that David is still active in the state Foster Parents Association and went on to serve of the association’s board.

During their time in Fayette, “the Elliot family was very, very concerned about the children in our county. I could call them in the middle of the night for help,” Underwood said. “Marcy would babysit for the foster parents association meetings. She was a very, very caring child.”

Underwood said the whole family got involved in the various aspects of care.

“Marcy and her mom or dad would be there whenever we needed help. They took a strong stand for children,” Underwood said. “Marcy would sometimes sit in my office and rock the babies. She always played with the children, trying to make them feel better.”

Underwood also spoke of the tragedy of Marcy’s death.

“This is an awful situation and it is very, very sad that they should lose their own child,” Underwood said of the couple that gave so much to the children of others. “Marcy was an artist and a free spirit. She wore goth clothes but that didn’t mean she wasn’t a caring person. She would always take up for and support the underdog.”

Visibly touched by Marcy’s death and the loss to her family, Underwood summed up the impact and the selfless efforts that Marcy, David and Ivette gave to the children of Fayette County.

“They were role models,” Underwood said.