The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 25, 2012

Fayetteville relives past violence with new homicides

— FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The recent homicides of six people along the Tennessee-Alabama state line have brought back fear and bad memories of previous violent slayings near the quiet rural town of Fayetteville, Tenn.

Dozens of law enforcement personnel in Tennessee and Alabama have been working long hours over the past three days to identify a suspect in the deaths of three women and a toddler near Fayetteville and the deaths of two men in Alabama. The bodies of the women and child were found Monday. The bodies of the men were found the following day.

The killings come just three years after six people, including a family in Tennessee and a man in Alabama, were slain near the same border town.

For Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder, this is his second multiple-homicide case in a six-year career. The recurrence so soon of such violence has taken a toll on everyone in the county, from police officers to the families who live there, he said.

"It shakes the community," he said. "It shakes it to its core and I understand people being nervous. I understand people being scared because of the unknown."

Authorities on Monday found the bodies of 22-year-old Chabreya Campbell, her 18-month-old son, Rico Ragland, and her friend, 21-year-old Amber McCaulley of Huntsville, Ala., in a home near Fayetteville. Campbell was six months pregnant. A 3-year-old boy was unharmed.

Hours later, police found 21-year-old Jessica Brown's body in a house elsewhere in the county. A 2-month-old infant in the house was not hurt.

Investigators started looking for 24-year-old Warren Vincent Crutcher as a person of interest in the case, but he was found dead Tuesday, his body dumped in some Alabama woods just across the state line. A sixth victim, identified as Jeffrey Pope, was found dead the same day in his Huntsville, Ala., home. The common thread in all three cases: Crutcher knew the other victims.

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