DeKalb County Sheriff Continues to Investigate Homicide

Posted on: 3:48 pm, December 19, 2013, by and , updated on: 04:14pm, December 20, 2013

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports the investigation into the death of a Boaz man has turned up several leads.

Medical examiners determined Gary Lee Willis, 38, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Gary Lee Willis (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff Harris says it all started with a call about a fire earlier this week.

“A passerby on County Road 135 in Geraldine, they called the fire department and said there was some black smoke coming out of the woods.”

That was Tuesday morning.  Geraldine Police Department Chief Nelson Gregory and the Geraldine Fire Department responded and found a car on fire.  After extinguishing the fire, Chief Gregory notified DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office there was a body in the vehicle, Harris said.  That body was determined to be Willis.

For the last several days Sheriff Harris says they’ve been working to find out who’s responsible. Friday morning, he said the department is working several good leads.

“We feel like we’re getting closer on this, with some of the information that’s coming in,” Sheriff Harris says.

That information isn’t made public yet, but Sheriff Harris says he hopes it will bring them steps closer to making an arrest. He also says they have information that leads them to believe this case is drug-related.

Harris said agents from DeKalb, Etowah, Marshall, and the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s office are taking numerous statements and interviewing persons of interest in all three counties.

“Probably close to 30 folks that’s been out every night, following up on leads,” Sheriff Harris says.

Sheriff Harris says if you have any information on this case, please call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at (256) 845-3801.