Sheriff LeRoy Upshaw announced the arrest of Willie James Dickerson Jr. 41, of 4444 Hwy. 51 S. Ariton, AL (Doster Community) by the Barbour County Sheriff's Office. Dickerson is being charged with Capital Murder in the death of Willie David Pugh of Clio, AL.
Sheriff Upshaw said that the alleged murder occurred in Barbour County just south of Clio on January 14, 2012. The investigation has been ongoing since that time after the victim's girlfriend reported him missing on January 15, 2012. She stated that Pugh was supposedly going to Dickerson's residence. The victim's car was located approximately 500 yards south of Dickerson's residence, parked behind an abandoned mobile home. The victim's bloody clothing was found inside the car.
Upshaw said that an intense manhunt was launched for the missing person by his agency and others including, Dale County Sheriff's Office, ABI, FBI, Clio PD, Elamville, Louisville and White Oak Shores Fire Departments, Regional Land and Water Rescue, Southwest Panhandle Search and Rescue, Henry County Rescue, Monroe County Search and Rescue, Liberty and Washington County Florida Search and Rescue Teams, Barbour County EMA, the NAACP, private citizens, and Jean Hartzog who delivered food and water for everyone. Upshaw is very appreciative of everyone who took part in the search for the victim.
The victim was located in a wooded area off of Sutton Dairy Rd. on January 24, 2012 and transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for an autopsy. The autopsy reveled the victim died from stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
Upshaw said that this was a very time consuming investigation due in part to there being three different crime scenes, as well as a fire at the suspect's residence on the night of January 25, 2012. Before the investigation could move forward, the fire had to be investigated by the Alabama Fire Marshall Office. Upshaw said the investigation concluded on May 21, 2012.
Barbour County Sheriff's Office Investigator, Lt. David Morris who was in charge of the investigation,would like to thank all of the many people who were involved in one or another aspect of the investigation including the disappearance of the victim, the resultant manhunt, and crime scene. He would like to personally thank Investigator Joe Weaver of the Dale County Sheriff's office who assisted Morris in just about every step in the investigation and Crime Scene Investigator, Jon Thomas from Dothan Police Department who gave his invaluable service at the crime scenes, autopsy, and evidence collection. "It made my job so much easier having these guys with me step for step," Morris said.
Lt. Morris arrested the suspect at the Houston County Jail on May 23, 2012, where he is currently incarnated on separate charges by Dothan Police Department.