RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Two people were arrested for multiple charges on Wednesday after the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office said they were wanted for abuse of a corpse, and a third person is now being sought in the case.
Officials said on March 30, a body had been found on CR 169D and the person was believed to have died somewhere else and taken to that location “in an attempt to conceal the cause and location of the death.”
The deceased has been identified as 38-year-old Cory Murphy.
William Welch, 36 of Kilgore, and Stephanie Kravis, 36 of Carthage, were named as persons of interest by the sheriff’s office and on March 31, officials announced warrants had been issued for their arrests.
Welch and Kravis were arrested on Wednesday and booked into the Gregg County Jail for abuse of a corpse, engaging in organized criminal activity and possession of a controlled substance. Their bond has been set at a combined $170,000 each.
Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez said they are also looking for Charles Parker, 41 of Longview, in connection to the case.
The sheriff’s office said during the death investigation, a search warrant was executed at 626 Layton Street in Kilgore and found suspected meth, fentanyl and other items believed to be relevant to the case.
Fentanyl is believed to be a contributing factor in the case, according to Valdez, and additional charges for Welch and Kravis are possible.
“The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office offers its thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the deceased,” officials said. “The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to enforcing the law and protecting the families and communities we proudly serve.”