Funeral arrangements set for 5 of 7 murder victims - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Funeral arrangements set for 5 of 7 murder victims

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Authorities work the crime scene in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Authorities work the crime scene in Lincoln County, Tennessee.
LINCOLN COUNTY, TN (WAFF) -

Authorities in Alabama and Tennessee are working together to solve a series of murders that left seven people dead in two states, including an unborn child.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said Wednesday that investigators are following evidence from four crime scenes that they hope will lead to an arrest or allow them to issue an alert to the public for a suspect.

Helm said the investigation has found that one of those who died, Warren Vincent Crutcher, knew the other victims.

Three women, a toddler, and an unborn child were killed at two homes in Fayetteville while a man, Jeffrey Pope, and Crutcher were found dead in Madison County, Alabama.

The bodies of 22-year-old Chabreya Campbell (who was also pregnant), her 18-month-old son, Rico Ragland, and 21-year-old Amber McCaulley were found inside a home on Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville, Tennessee, Monday morning.

A few hours later, investigators found the body of 21-year-old Jessica Brown in the home she shared with Crutcher and their newborn child, on Fox Wood Drive.

Sources confirmed Crutcher was beaten and shot. Two of the victims in Lincoln County, Tennessee did not die by being beaten, shot or stabbed. Investigators did not say how the victims died.

Helm said Crutcher had former or current relationships with the three women and was an acquaintance of the man.

An acquaintance of Crutcher said he was dealing in heavy drugs, like cocaine.

Neighbors in the area where Crutcher's body was found in Hazel Green are uneasy after the recent violence. Many of them said they are armed and will not answer the door if they aren't expecting company.

Lincoln County Sheriff, Murray Blackwelder, said these murders were isolated and the public does not need to fear for their safety.

"I understand people being nervous. I understand them being scared, because of the unknown. You know I don't feel like the residents of Lincoln County or Madison County, either one, should be concerned with their safety because this was not a random act," said Blackwelder.

Multiple jurisdictions of police faced unique challenges as they tried to unravel seven murders discovered at four different locations in two counties in two states this week.

"When it involves two separate states and multi agencies, that just complicates it that much more," said retired Huntsville investigator Bill Davis.  

In this instance, four victims were discovered at two locations just outside the city of Fayetteville, Tennessee, placing them in the jurisdiction of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.   

The situation was rendered more complex when a sixth victim turned up in the city of Huntsville, jurisdiction Huntsville PD, and a seventh was found in Hazel Green, Alabama, where the Madison County Sheriff's Office has been investigating.  

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is involved as well.

This is not a significant problem, according to Davis. 

"We've got professional agencies that are involved and they work very well together," he said.  "We've worked together on many occasions with these other agencies plenty of times."  

Davis further said the public should be neither surprised nor concern by the lack of detail in police reports.  Police were reticent about releasing the cause of most victims' deaths, for example.   While Huntsville victim Jeffrey Pope's death was publicly described as a shooting, investigators only said that Hazel Green victim Warren Crutcher's death was not a suicide.

"You can't release the information you gather at the crime scenes, especially at this time," Davis said, "because that information may come up later on in court."

But the need for help from the public, Davis said, has remained constant.

"You may get 100 tips," he said. "None of them may work out.  But, then again, four or five may.  And the tips actually do help out tremendously."   

A reliable source said a person of interest is being questioned about the killings but has not been charged. Due to the sensitivity of this case, we are not releasing the person's name at this time.

Funeral arrangements are set for four of the victims.

The funeral for Campbell and Rashad will take place Tuesday at Saint Bartley Primitive Baptist Church. The service starts at 11:00 a.m.

The funeral for McCaulley will take place Saturday at the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in New Market. The funeral starts at 1 p.m.

Memorial funds have been set up for Campbell and McCaulley. They are at the Redstone Federal Credit Union and called "Chabreya and Rico Campbell fund" and "Kynslee's Future."

Warren Crutcher's wake will be held Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Mount Zion. His funeral will be the next day in the same location at 1 p.m.

Jeffrey Pope's funeral service will be October 29 at noon at the Saint Mark Baptist Church in Huntsville.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.

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