Brutal beating murder suspect: 'I think I found God' - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Brutal beating murder suspect: 'I think I found God'

Capstraw attended Rainbow Fest in Georgia with the victim before hitchhiking to Kentucky. (Source: Elizabethtown Police) Capstraw attended Rainbow Fest in Georgia with the victim before hitchhiking to Kentucky. (Source: Elizabethtown Police)
Joseph Bryan Capstraw is charged wiht one count of murder. (Source: Hardin County Detention Center) Joseph Bryan Capstraw is charged wiht one count of murder. (Source: Hardin County Detention Center)
The house on Joan Ave. in Elizabethtown where the body of Amber Robinson was discovered. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News) The house on Joan Ave. in Elizabethtown where the body of Amber Robinson was discovered. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
Police said Amber Robinson, 18, was badly beaten by Capstraw. (Source: Facebook) Police said Amber Robinson, 18, was badly beaten by Capstraw. (Source: Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In the middle of the woods in Georgia, thousands gathered for nearly a month.

It was the "Rainbow Family of Living Light" gathering, a place where hundreds of self-proclaimed "hippies" and "nature-lovers" flock to make memories and new friends.

The gathering took place between June and July. That's where Amber Robinson's life would take a horrible turn.

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"This is one of the most brutal cases that I've ever witnessed," Officer John Thomas, the Public Information Officer for  Elizabethtown Police, said.

Police believe Robinson, 18, met Joseph Capstraw, 20, at the gathering. Capstraw was an aspiring musician and posted videos of himself playing his guitar and singing on his Facebook page.

The young pair hitch-hiked to Louisville and were picked up by a man from Elizabethtown. Thomas said the pair told the driver they didn't have a place to stay. He, in turn, offered them his home in the 500 block of Joan Avenue for the night. But when he got back from a quick trip for food, his home was transformed into a murder scene.

After neighbors called 911, Capstraw was found lying in the yard of the home, covered in blood. His hands were badly mangled.

"When the officers arrived there, some of the first words out of his mouth were, 'I killed her,'" Thomas recalled.

Robinson was so badly beaten, her dental records had to be used to confirm her identity. The teen was from Florida, with only grandparents and a sister in other states around to get the bad news.

Meanwhile Capstraw's Facebook page shows a dark battle.

"I think I found God," Capstraw said in one video. "He came to me in a dream. I'm very not sure about what to do. So like my mind's really f****** with me. And I need help, answers. Please."

In other posts, Capstraw talked about depression and hating life.

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Music seemed to be his outlet even at the Rainbow gathering, though it wasn't able to save Amber's life.

Capstraw is being held in the Hardin County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond.

Just one year ago, Capstraw was arrested in Florida and charged with attempted murder after a man claimed he'd been stabbed. The charges were later dropped after the stabbing was deemed to be in self-defense.

The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Department joined Elizabethtown Police in the investigation over the weekend to help identify Robinson. They reached out to the Rainbow Family gathering who started posting information to try to find out who the victim was.

The group's Facebook page has nearly 30,000 followers.

"Some say we're the largest non-organization of non-members in the world," it states on their Facebook page. "We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. Many of our traditions are based on Native American traditions, and we have a strong orientation to take care of the the Earth. We gather in the National Forests yearly to pray for peace on this planet."

The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Department made 106 drug and/or alcohol related arrests in the area of the festival in its duration. They handed out 42 additional drug or alcohol related citations.  

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