Berry Arrested for Kidnap, Murder

The Jackson County (Ala.) Sheriff's office announced today that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the corpse found last week during a missing person search. Here is the release:

Jackson Sheriff Chuck Phillips' press release today said warrants were issued on Brandon Blaine Berry, 31, of Woodville, Ala., charging him with kidnapping in the first degree and murder.

These charges came pursuant to an investigation into a body found on Jackson County Road 86 in Woodville, Ala., on Friday Sept. 14. Berry, who was already in the Jackson County jail on unrelated charges, was served with these arrest warrants at approximately 5:30 p.m. today. Woodville is a rural community west of Scottsboro near the Paint Rock River

Bond has been set at $225,000, $25,000 for the kidnapping charge and $200,000 for the murder charge.

On Saturday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office released news that the body of a white male had been found and that it had been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy but declined to identify the deceased. Today, Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said that was still the case. "We're waiting for some dental records to come in," he said.

Speaking by telephone, Harnen said the sheriff's office would probably release the name of the deceased by Monday, though the public should not expect many more details while the case is still being investigated and prosecuted.

But he said his office had received good information about the murder--"People talk"

--and was reasonably sure of what happened. "We ended up pretty much knowing who did it and how he did it before we even knew we had a body," he said. Then, he said, a missing person report had turned up and things had come together.

As for why the suspect, Berry, was already in jail, Harnen said he'd been rounded up on an outstanding warrant when he was identified as a suspect in the kidnap/murder case. Berry faces charges for assault, domestic violence and a bond revocation, said Harnen, and was already known by the local police. "He's pretty regular," said Harnen.

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