Investigators seek motive in Lincoln Co. murder investigation - WSMV Channel 4

Investigators seek motive in Lincoln Co. murder investigation

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Scene outside a home where three people were found dead in Lincoln County/Photos by WAFF-TV, Huntsville Scene outside a home where three people were found dead in Lincoln County/Photos by WAFF-TV, Huntsville
Investigators at home near Tennessee-Alabama state line where three were found dead./WAFF Investigators at home near Tennessee-Alabama state line where three were found dead./WAFF
FAYETTEVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The investigation into six murders across southern Tennessee and northern Alabama is back at square one.

A person of interest in the investigation, Warren Vincent Crutcher, was found murdered on a rural road in Alabama just south of the Tennessee state line Tuesday, and no suspects have been identified.

Early Monday morning, Crutcher's 3-year-old son began making random calls saying his mother was dead.

In a 911 audio recording, a friend of victim Chabreya Campbell said she couldn't get into the home on Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville where four people, including Campbell, were found dead.

"My best friend, her 3-year-old son has been calling me all morning. And I came out here to the house. He can't open the door, and his mom's not answering the door. His baby brother's not awake. I don't know what's going on, but he's locked in the house and I can't get in," the woman said on the 911 call.

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies arrived at the home and found Chabreya Campbell, 22, and her 18-month-old son, Rico Ragland, dead at the home.

Campbell was believed to be six months pregnant. They lived at the home along with Campbell's 3-year-old son, Vincent Crutcher, who was making the phone calls and was found in the home unharmed.

Also, investigators found Amber McCaulley, 21, of Huntsville, AL, deceased at the residence.

Crutcher's mother, Rhoda Crutcher, was critical Wednesday with what she feels was a rush to judgment about her son.

"I'm hurt, and I'm angry. And the reason I'm angry is because they made my son look like he was the criminal - that he could do something like that, murder the mother of his kids and leave his son there," Rhoda Crutcher said.

Rhoda Crutcher said she would rather remember her son playing with his children and full of life, but she said the street life ended up taking his life.

"I always told my son the life you lead is either going to bring your death or bring you prison," Rhoda Crutcher said.

Henry Burrell was jailed Wednesday, charged with a probation violation. He and Warren Crutcher had spent time in jail together in the past, and Crutcher's mother said the two talked by phone at her home before the murders.

"He said, 'where are you?' And (Burrell) said, 'I need a ride.' And I said, 'why does he need a ride? What has he done that he would need a ride,'" Rhoda Crutcher said.

Authorities are being tight-lipped about whether or not Burrell is involved in the crimes, and they are not saying that he is a person of interest at this point.

TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said investigators are working around the clock to nail down timelines for the six murders and find the people responsible.

"We are still very much trying to determine motive. That is one of those key elements that an investigator has to have to put an entire case together, to make sure that as the judicial system works through the process, that we can not only arrest those suspects but also convict them and ensure that they are sentenced properly," Helm said.

Deputies and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation believe the cases of two other murder victims in the area, Jessica Brown and Jeffrey Pope, are connected to the other deaths.

McCaulley will be laid to rest on Saturday in Huntsville. Both Campbell and her son, Rico, will be laid to rest Tuesday also in Huntsville.

Funerals have not been set up for the three other victims.

Person of interest found dead

A body found on a rural road in Alabama just south of the Tennessee state line is that of the man police have sought in an investigation of five deaths in Lincoln County, TN, and Huntsville, AL.

Warren Vincent Crutcher, 24, who was wanted for questioning by Lincoln County authorities, was found dead Tuesday in the Hazel Green area of Madison County, and the Madison County (AL) corner, Craig Whisenant, said the cause of Crutcher's death appears to be homicide.

1 killed at Huntsville home

A fifth body that was found Tuesday morning in Huntsville, AL, is being investigated in connection with four homicides in Lincoln County, TN.  

The victim was identified as Jeffrey Pope, who was found dead from a gunshot wound to the chest, reported WAFF.

WAFF reported that Crutcher's mother said Pope and Warren Vincent Crutcher were friends.

Police told WAFF three men, dressed in black, were seen running from the house right after the shooting. K-9 units were brought in to look for the men overnight, but police did not find them.

4 found dead in Lincoln County

The investigation first began when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to a home on Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville, TN, on Monday. They found Chabreya Campbell, 22, and her 18-month-old son, Rico Ragland, dead at the home.  

Campbell was believed to be six months pregnant. They lived at the home along with Campbell's 3-year-old son, Vincent Crutcher. Vincent was found in the home unharmed.

Also, investigators found Amber McCaulley, 21, of Huntsville, AL, deceased at the residence.  The victims have been taken to the Medical Examiner's office for autopsy to determine cause of death.

Neighbors said Vincent began randomly calling people on his mother's cell phone about 6 a.m.

Crystal Kelly, who was identified as the children's godmother, said when she got the call, she went to the house and discovered the victims. Kelly said she called authorities.

Authorities are not saying how the victims were killed.

The Huntsville Newswire website reported in March 2011 that Crutcher was arrested after assaulting Campbell and taking the couple's child.

The TBI believes Crutcher was the father of two of the children found alive in the killing spree.  Investigators don't believe he was Rico's father.

A fourth person, identified as Jessica Brown, 21, was found dead in her home Monday night located at a home on Fox Wood Drive in Fayetteville. Her 2-month-old son was found in the home unharmed.

Authorities had been searching for Warren Vincent Crutcher for questioning in the slayings.

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