Murder investigation underway after man found shot dead behind Alabama church

Alabama News

RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) — A murder investigation is underway in Russell County after a man was found shot to death behind a church under construction near Seale and Fort Mitchell, Ala. on Jan. 14, 2021.

“It’s right on the line between Fort Mitchell and Seale,” Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said. “It probably has a Seale address, but it could be called Fort Mitchell or Seale. It’s right there close to on the line.”

According to Taylor, the victim’s body was found around lunchtime behind the Uchee Pines Seventh Day Advent Church on Uchee Pines Road.

Construction workers reporting to work on Jan. 14 found the body of a male victim behind the church.

Taylor said he does not want to say exactly how the body was found, face up or face down, nor would he speculate about if the victim was shot at the church or somewhere else.

“That’s something that only the offender would know,” Taylor said.

According to the sheriff, the body was not there on Wednesday. He believes the incident happened sometime Thursday morning before lunch.

Taylor said officials are working to identify the male victim. Right now, says he doesn’t want to release a description for the victim before the family can be notified.

“Hopefully we will be able to make some identification of our victim soon, and we will let you know as soon as we do that and notify the family,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some updates for you over the next 24-48 hours.”

Taylor said he believes the victim knew the killer because there does not appear to be much of a struggle at the crime scene. He would not say whether or not the body was found face up or face down.

He would not speculate as to whether the victim was shot at a different location and brought to the church, or shot where they were found.

There are no security cameras at the church and investigators are looking for homes in the area that might have security cameras.

“We are canvassing the neighborhood for videos on any houses that would be on that road,” Taylor said. “The last time I had spoke to Investigations, we were unable yet to locate a residence that had any video on it. The church was not quite that far along, they had plans for video on the outside but they had not installed them.”

The victim’s body is being sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy. Taylor said fingerprints obtained during the autopsy might help identify the victim.

Additionally, anyone who has information about the shooting or the victim should also contact the Russell County Sheriff’s Office at 334-298-6535.

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