Sheriff: Man Discovered in Geraldine Car Fire Died from Multiple Gunshot Wounds

Northeast Alabama
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GERALDINE, Ala. (WHNT) – Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports that the cause of death for the a man discovered in a burning car has been ruled a homicide.

Police say 38-year-old Gary Lee Willis, of Boaz died of multiple gunshot wounds.

It all started when Geraldine Police Department Chief Nelson Gregory responded to a car fire on County Road 135 along with Geraldine Fire Department. After extinguishing the fire, Chief Gregory notified Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office that there was a body in the vehicle, Harris said.

Investigators went to the scene and began an investigation into the owner of the car and then identified the person in the vehicle. The car was determined to be from Etowah County and belonged to a person who was listed as missing, according to Harris.

Dekalb and Etowah investigators began to work the case as a homicide due to several circumstances. District Attorney Mike Odell authorized an autopsy at Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville, which was performed Wednesday. The body was positively identified as Gary Lee Willis, 38 of Boaz.

Harris said the autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

This investigation is ongoing with Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office, Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama State Fire Marshal working with drug units from all three counties.

Several leads are being pursued at this time, according to Harris.

“We are working hard to follow these leads. Our people were out all night and additional officers were assigned today to help in getting this case solved. Any person with information on this case should call the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office at 256-845-3801,” said Harris.

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