Thomas Lee Creel Bio – Thomas Lee Creel Wiki
A cemetery worker was perusing the grounds of an Alabama graveyard when they came upon a hand-dug grave in May, WBRC reported. Despite being in a cemetery, the burial was immediately suspicious.
Thomas Lee Creel was 71 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
Two male juveniles have been arrested and charged for the alleged murder of an elderly Alabama man.
On May 5, the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to a wooded area near a cemetery east of Alabama Hwy 145 to investigate a suspicious incident, police said in a Facebook post-Tuesday. While studying, authorities located “what appeared to be a hand-dug grave containing a body” and recovered the “partially decomposed body of an adult white male.”
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences determined that the manner of death was a homicide, and the man was later identified as 71-year-old Thomas Lee Creel of the Jemison area.
Sheriff John Shearon told local WBRC that caretakers of a nearby cemetery found the “freshly dug” grave at the time, adding that it was suspicious as the cemetery hasn’t had a grave dug in over 100 years.
After investigators from the Special Operations Division continued to gather evidence, conduct interviews, and follow multiple leads, their investigation led them to two unnamed minors, who were arrested and charged with murder and burglary of the first degree.
“These arrests are the result of hundreds of hours of teamwork and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies,” read the news release.
Sheriff Shearon told WBRC that Creel and the teens knew each other but did not give a motive for the alleged murder.
Creel’s family said he reportedly had trouble with the teens coming on his property in the past.
“I guess they got tired of him telling them to leave and not letting them do whatever they wanted to until they took matters into their own hands. They murdered him and then partied in his house and took what they wanted,” Crystal Freeman, Creel’s niece, alleged.
“It was unbelievable because who would have thought that somebody in their own home would be targeted like this.” Jenny Bell, another niece of Creel’s, said. “Unfortunately, he was brutally killed by two young kids. He didn’t deserve it.”
According to his obituary, Creel is survived by other nieces, Raven Parmer, Emily Wolf, Virginia Bell, and Amelia Creel; nephews Jody Creel, Logan Parmer, and Casey Creel; and a “host of great nieces and nephews.”
His ashes were spread in Gulfport and the Bay St. Louis area of Mississippi.
The Jemison Police Department assisted the Sheriff’s Office, the Clanton Police Department, the Chilton County Coroner’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Forensic and Scientific Testing Inc. in Thorsby, AL.
This investigation is ongoing; anyone that may have information is asked to contact Sgt. Jennifer Bland at (205) 755-4698. They can also provide information anonymously using the Crime Tip function on the Sheriff’s Office website at chiltoncountyso.org or the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office App.