Franklin Co. sheriff says beating victim likely targeted - WSMV Channel 4

Franklin Co. sheriff says beating victim likely targeted

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Investigators believe a man found dead in a field last weekend was likely killed by a group of people he knew.

Corey Matthews, 26, was reported missing late Saturday in Franklin County, and officers later found his body in a corn field about a mile from his home just outside Cowan.

The coroner says the young father and volunteer firefighter died following a brutal beating.

Wife Amanda Matthews said she grew concerned when her husband hadn't returned home, so she called sheriff's deputies to search for him.

"His body was down there in the corn field next to the cemetery," she said.

The couple has a 3-year-old daughter together.

Officials say Corey Matthews also had an arrest history, and they believe his beating death was not a random act.

"This particular case does not suggest it was random. This was focused or targeted, however you wish to put it," said Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller.

Fuller said his investigators are now zeroing in on people who knew the victim.

Until an arrest is made, Amanda Matthews said she's keeping her family close. She said she can't recall anyone who would be considered an enemy.

"He would stop and talk with anyone, if they wanted him to or not," she said.

For now, her husband's funeral is being planned for the next few days, and his truck is still in the front yard of the couple's home.

The young widow said it will take time for the pain to subside.

"It's such a little town, it's really a shock that anybody would want to do this and take such a good man away from the people who love him," Amanda Matthews said.

Investigators say they're hoping to arrest several people when their investigation is complete.

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