Three people have been arrested on kidnapping charges in connection with the death of a 38 year old Boaz man, whose body was found in a burning car near Geraldine on December 17th.
Gary Lee Willis was reported missing on December 14th from a home near the DeKalb/Marshall County line.
Geraldine Police and firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle on fire on County Road 135 – and after they extinguished the blaze, they discovered the Willis’ lifeless body inside the car.
According to the Ft Payne Times-Journal Christopher Todd Cagle, age 28 and Delia May Downs age 33, both of Albertville – and 28 year old Ft Payne resident Stanley Townsel, Jr. have all been charged with First Degree Kidnapping.
DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris, says that the three have been in custody since last week on various charges unrelated to the case – adding that two of the suspects are talking, while the third has retained a lawyer; he states that authorities have taped confessions in which all three suspects blame each other. Harris said Townsel showed law enforcement officers where Willis was beaten and shot – adding that Townsel had taken, and passed, a polygraph test.
It’s believed that the body was dumped in DeKalb County in an effort to throw-off investigators.
Officials from DeKalb, Marshall and Etowah counties are expected to meet this Friday to discuss the possibility of additional charges being brought.
Harris said he would like to see all three charged with Capital Murder, saying he believes that the motive was money and drugs.
We’ll have additional information as it becomes available.
(Ft Payne Times-Journal)