***UPDATE*** Teens charged with Tuscaloosa murders after vehicle discovered in Hayneville
Published 6:01 pm Monday, January 9, 2023
Two teens, cousins from the Lowndes and Montgomery County areas, were arrested Monday, on charges of capital murder after officials discovered two bodies in Tuscaloosa and an abandoned car in Hayneville.
In a press conference Monday, Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander Captain Jack Kennedy identified the alleged suspects as Keondre Jazel McCall and Mance Quinnell McCall, Jr., both 19. The two were each charged with one count of capital murder and are held in Tuscaloosa without bond.
“One of the elements of capital murder is if you kill more than one individual through one course of action,” Kennedy said. “At this time, they are being charged with one count of capital murder, but that is because we have probable cause to believe and have attained warrants through the magistrate charging them for killing two individuals at the same time.”
The victims have been identified as Justin Michael Whitfield and Destin Rashard Holley, both 23-year-old Black males and hailing from the Montgomery area. Kennedy said investigators have reason to believe the victims were acquainted with the suspects, but are unsure of the exact nature of those relationships.
“We do believe that the totality of the crime occurred in Tuscaloosa County,” Kennedy said, adding law enforcement officers do not believe other suspects remain at large and consider residents of Fosters to be safe at this time.
The arrests came after an abandoned vehicle was discovered Sunday afternoon on Lowndes County Road 26 in Hayneville. Evidence found in the vehicle confirmed it belonged to one of the victims and indicated proof of the murders.
“After identifying the victims, we learned that one of the victims’ vehicles matched the description of a vehicle seen in the area,” Kennedy said. “We put out a bulletin for it and soon discovered it had been located by law enforcement in Lowndes County near the Hayneville area.”
Kennedy credited the cooperative efforts of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Hayneville Police Department, the Fort Deposit Police Department, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for their night-long investigation, which uncovered the suspect’s location and led to their apprehension.
“There might be other charges that will follow as the investigation continues,” Kennedy said. “The victims and suspects were all from outside Tuscaloosa County.”
As The Lowndes Signal previously reported, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s office received a call around 6:15 a.m. reporting suspicious activity on Interstate 59 eastbound near mile marker 62.
At approximately 6:27 a.m. Sunday morning, Alabama Law Enforcement Troopers responded to a single-vehicle crash involving a commercial vehicle in the northbound lanes of Interstate 59 between the 52 and 62 mile markers, closing the road and diverting traffic at U.S. Highway 11, Exit 52.
“It was originally reported as a crash,” said ALEA Corporal Reginal King.
Kennedy said a truck driver believed he had struck someone on the interstate. Troopers on the scene found evidence indicating that being struck by a vehicle may not have been the cause of death and called in VCU to investigate.
A second call 45 minutes later, around 6:55 a.m., reported a body lying just off the roadway on Frog Ridge Road in Fosters, three to four miles from where the first body was found. Deputies arrived on the scene and determined the subject was deceased and appeared to be the victim of a shooting or assault.”
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West and Fort Deposit Police Chief Terry Steiner noted the investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.
Kennedy requested any persons who may have witnessed incidents related to the investigation to contact his office at (205) 464-8690.