WEST JEFFERSON, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: Dustin “Dusty” Turner, 39, and Jennifer Phillips, 30, have been ID’d by the coroner as the bodies found in the shallow graves.
“From what the condition of the bodies were in, we believe that they were murdered already when they were reported missing,” Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian said.
Jefferson County deputies say the two bodies were badly decomposed. Investigators are working to figure out how they ended up in that part of the county. Christian believes the two murders might be drug related.
“There’s a lot of speculation and belief that this is going to be drug related and that’s not going to surprise us,” Christian said.
“I don’t think it will surprise anyone and I believe at the end of the day that’s what we’ll find.”
Investigators say that both Turner and Phillips had previous run-ins with the law.
“Regardless of those issues, nobody deserves to just be cold blooded murder like what’s happened here,” Christian shared.
ORIGINAL: The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating human remains found in a shallow grave near the Jefferson/Walker county line.
Investigators say they received a call Saturday around 4:30, and responded to a wooded area off Oakdale Road, near the town of West Jefferson. The area is located behind the Alabama Power Company Miller Steam Plant.
Deputies say they are holding the scene until an identification can be made on the remains.
The remains may belong to a missing couple, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday in a release, but no positive identification has been made yet.