Sheriff: "Cremation is OK in a funeral home, but not in the middle of a field"

Crime Scene (Photo Source: Etowah Co. Sheriff's Office)
Crime Scene (Photo Source: Etowah Co. Sheriff's Office)
Robert & Margie Kelley (Photo Source: Etowah Co. Jail)
Robert & Margie Kelley (Photo Source: Etowah Co. Jail)

GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - The Etowah County Sheriff's Department held a news conference Thursday to release new information in the case of the murder and incineration of two people.

"Cremation is OK in a funeral home, but not in the middle of a field," Entrekin told reporters Thursday at the news conference.

Investigators said Robert Wayne Kelley, 35, has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of James Bachelor, 38, and Rocky Morgan, 55. His estranged wife, Margie Morgan Kelley, 35, was charged with first-degree hindering a criminal investigation.

According to the Etowah County Sheriff's Department, the bodies thought to be those of Bachelor and Morgan were found near Center Road in Attalla. That location was pinpointed by evidence recovered during their investigation, authorities said.  The bodies were believed to have been transported to the field several days after the shootings, then set on fire. Tires and other materials were used to keep the fire burning.  From there, authorities believe the suspects scattered the remains across the field with a rake.

Bachelor and Morgan had not been seen for two weeks. Both men were last seen preparing to head to Marshall County for a fishing trip.

"After they had been missing for several days, a family member came concerned and brought it to the attention of the sheriff's office," said Etowah County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Natalie Barton.

Investigators said the location where the remains were found is believed to be a random disposal site for the bodies.

Bachelor was a registered sex offender, but investigators said the deaths don't appear to be related to his sex offender status.

"It was pertinent information, we first believed, when they were just missing, but we don't believe it has anything to do with them being deceased," Barton said.