Sheriff: Cherokee Co. murder suspect caught in Tenn. - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sheriff: Cherokee Co. murder suspect caught in Tenn.

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Vennie Leroy Keaton. Source: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Vennie Leroy Keaton. Source: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
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CHEROKEE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The man suspected of killing a woman whose body was found at a northeast Alabama community college earlier this week has been caught.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office confirms that Vennie Leroy Keaton was brought into custody by members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Officers found him in Cookeville, Tenn. around 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30 and took him in without incident.

The sheriff's office is now calling Keaton a suspect in the murder of Melissa Leann Hudgins, a 32-year-old mother of two. He was named a "person of interest" by the sheriff's office in a press release issued on their website Nov. 28.

Hudgins' body was discovered in a mechanical room off of the athletic arena at Gadsden State Cherokee campus in Centre around 9 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities say she worked as a contracted custodial worker employed by a cleaning company based in Anniston, and that Keaton worked with her.

Keaton is currently being transported to a detention facility in Tennessee and is expected to be extradited back to Cherokee County, the sheriff's office said in an update on their website Friday. He is also wanted in both Cherokee County and Tennessee on theft-related charges.

Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver says a team comprised of sheriff's office investigators, Centre police officers and members of the District Attorney's Office are already in Tennessee assisting with the investigation.

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