Arrest Made in Missing Tuscumbia Man’s Death


Jeremy Leshun Williams (Photo: Lauderdale Co. Detention Center)

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – An arrest has been made in connection with a missing persons case that originated in Tuscumbia earlier this week.

In a Saturday morning media conference, Florence Police announced Jeremy Leshun Williams, 29, has been charged with the murder of Brioni Jamaal Rutland, 27.

According to Lt. Mike Holt, Williams was arrested early Saturday morning after an interview and search of his Hawthorne Street home.

Holt said evidence found outside of Williams’ home gave police enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the inside of the residence.

Holt would only say that investigators found a considerable amount of evidence that led to the arrest of Jeremy Williams.

“It’s very important to us to be able to at least give the family some comfort in knowing what happened to their loved one. To be able to give them some type of closure,” stated Holt. “It’s not a happy ending, but it’s an optimal outcome for us because we are able to at least tell them what happened to their loved on, that’s very important.”

Brioni Rutland was reported missing by family members on Wednesday after no one had heard from him since Tuesday afternoon.

Tuscumbia Police immediately sent out a notice to surrounding police and media asking for assistance in locating him.

Wednesday afternoon, personal items of Rutland were located in a drainage ditch in Florence by police.

On Thursday afternoon Sheffield Police were notified by a jogger of a blood stain on the walkway of the Old Railroad Bridge that spans the Tennessee River.

Investigators went to the scene and collected evidence until late that evening.

Later Thursday night, a caller reported finding Rutland’s 2003 Chevrolet Impala at an apartment complex in Sheffield.

The car was impounded by authorities and secured for investigators to use as evidence.

Friday morning, Sheffield and Tuscumbia Police gathered at the railroad bridge to begin efforts in diving in the Tennessee River, below were the pool of blood was located.

Shortly after lunch on Friday, Sheffield Police said the divers located the body of Brioni Rutland underneath the bridge.

During the multi-jurisdictional investigation, Florence investigators received information about Rutland being in contact with Jeremy Williams on Tuesday, just before he went missing.

Florence Police said the investigation is on-going, and Williams is being held on a $500,000 bail at the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

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