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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Staff, Wire Reports

Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 03:54 PM

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Luttrell Man Facing Homicide Charges After Partially Bury Body Found At Union County Home

UNION COUNTY - (SOURCE: WBIR) - A Luttrell man faces a homicide charge after he was found at a Union County home along with a partially buried body.

The Union County Sheriff's Office identified the defendant as Robert C. Stafford, 32.

He was being held in the Union County Jail on a criminal homicide charge in lieu of $1 million bond.

Union County authorities were called late Tuesday to check on the welfare of Robert E. Murrell Jr., 61, who hadn't been heard from or gone to work since Sunday, Sept. 17. They went to a home in the 2100 block of Highway 61E.

Deputies saw Stafford inside and spotted what appeared to be blood on the front porch. Stafford had a gun.

"The deputies continued to check the residence and the surrounding property and quickly discovered a partially buried body in the front yard of the residence," according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.

The body was Murrell's. He appeared to have been shot, according to authorities.

The investigation continues.