BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Four people are being questioned and are expected to face charges in connection with the body of a man found in a metal canister, according to Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon.
A body was discovered in a blue, steel 55-gallon drum, Tuesday night.
Moon said deputies believe it is a man who was reported missing by a family member over the weekend. Investigators are waiting to hear back from the Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville.
“It was in a state that we would not really want to ask a family member to attempt to identify,” said Moon.
Two women and two men were taken into questioning and placed on a 48-hour hold, Moon said.
While investigators wait for autopsy results, family members have identified the victim as Adam Beard.
“He loved people, he loved helping people, he loved his children,” said Melody Hopkins, Beard’s mother.
Through tears, Hopkins described the son she reported missing over the weekend.
“Nobody had the right to kill him, he’s leaving four children for his family to raise, his kids are still wanting to talk to their daddy, they don’t understand it,” said Hopkins.
Neighbors in Blountsville were surprised to see yellow crime scene tape, a K9 unit, and several investigators in the small town.
“In a small community to have something like this happen, I’ve been here for 19 years and I said, you know, I don’t lock my doors,” said Paul Lewcyzk, who lives nearby.
According to Moon, the suspects and victim all knew each other. Deputies believe it was a drug-related issue but could not go into specifics as the investigation continues.
“Drugs are the death of our communities and they cause a lot of harm and we believe that this being a drug related issue, could have been avoided if some good decisions and good choices were made,” said Moon.
In the meantime, Moon asked neighbors to keep family members in their thoughts.
“Our heart does go out to the victim’s family. And we do encourage our community of Blount County, and we are a pretty tight knit community, we do encourage our folks to lift them up in prayer,” said Moon.
For now, Beard’s family is left with plenty of questions as they prepare to say final goodbyes.
“The saddest thing for me is you feel like you’ve failed as someone he was supposed to look up to,” Beard’s brother, John Riendeau continued. “Maybe I could have been a better example as an older brother and he’d have made some different life choices.”
Riendeau is hopeful answers come as the investigation continues.
“Hopefully Blount County and all the other departments who are involved will take care of it,” said Riendeau.
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Deputies have not released the names of the suspects. Stay with CBS 42 for the latest.