Authorities investigating body found Sunday near Hollywood, Ala., as homicide

Authorities investigating body found Sunday near Hollywood, Ala., as homicide

November 20th, 2018 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Jackson County, Alabama, authorities are treating the weekend discovery of a badly decomposed body in the Hollywood area as a homicide as they await autopsy results.

The body was found around 3 p.m. Sunday by a nearby resident, Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said.

Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips

Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips

Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.

"Obviously, the body had been in the water for some time and there was a lot of decomposition," Phillips said. "We recovered the body and it has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy and identification."

Investigators are suspicious foul play was involved.

The body "had obviously been put into the creek at some point," the sheriff said. " It washed down to a little place where the creek bank opened up into a swampy area and we've had some flooding and I guess it washed out."

Robinson Creek flows eastward from Robinson Spring, passing under County Road 33 and continuing east and north until it joins with Mud Creek and flows to the Tennessee River. The body was found about a mile east of County Road 33, officials said.

Phillips said he hoped for an identification on the body this week but said the Thanksgiving holiday could delay autopsy results.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office had investigated a report of a person missing in August but there has been no link between the body and missing person so far, the sheriff said.

Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said the area where the body was found is mostly farmland along the winding, slow-moving Robinson Creek.

Harnen said the body was too badly decomposed to determine a gender, so that will be among the first preliminary autopsy findings investigators will want to see. The chief deputy said authorities hope the body can be positively identified quickly but said a positive ID could require DNA testing.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at