3 charged with kidnapping after remains found - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

3 charged with kidnapping after remains found


Three people were arrested Tuesday on kidnapping charges in connection with the death of a Boaz man.

Marshall County investigators believe Gary Lee Willis, 38, was taken against his will from a home on Old McVille Road off Highway 75 near the Marshall/DeKalb line on Dec. 13. He was reported missing after he had not been seen for several days.

Geraldine Police responded to a car fire on County Road 135 a week ago. After the fire was extinguished, investigators found the remains of a human body in the car. The remains were identified as Willis. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the autopsy report.

Christopher Todd Cagle, 28, of Albertville; Delia May Downs, 33, of Albertville; and Michael Stanley Townsel Jr., 28 of Fort Payne; are being held under a $1 million bond in the DeKalb County Jail and will be transferred to Marshall County at a later date, according to the Marshall County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation into the murder of Willis is ongoing, with investigators from DeKalb, Etowah, and Marshall Counties planning to meet with district attorneys from DeKalb and Marshall Counties to discuss additional charges the trio may face.  

 "At this time, we have the individuals in custody that we believe are responsible for death of Mr. Willis," said Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls. "They are currently charged with kidnapping, 1st degree, and because this offense occurred between multiple counties, we have more evidence and information to gather before going forward with additional charges, such as murder."

Walls said investigators are working through the Christmas holiday to get the case solved so there's no delay in moving forward with additional charges.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said more than 100 man hours have been used to track down those responsible for the death of Willis.

"We will continue to work with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office to get this case wrapped up," Harris said. "I appreciate the assistance of Etowah and Marshall County Sheriff's offices during this investigation."

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