Agent claims teens may have been killed then taken to where police found bodies

By  | 

Ozark (WTVY)-- There are indications that the murders of two Dothan teens may have occurred at a place other than where police discovered their bodies.

That's something that has been speculated but now a law enforcement officer indicates that is a possible scenario.

Investigators arrested 45-year Coley McCraney this month and charged him in the cold case murders of Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley in 1999.

The 17-year olds were forced in the trunk of Beasley’s car and shot. Their bodies were found along Herring Avenue in Ozark.

However, Special Agent J. Eric Collier with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office seems to question if that's where they were killed.

“(McCraney) took them to an unknown secluded area by force of the gun used to kill them,” he stated in an affidavit seeking a search warrant.

Since the Herring Street location is well documented, Collier seems to infer the 17-year olds could have been shot at another location.

If so, that raises a huge question: How did Beasley’s Mazda 929 get to Herring Street?

Collier also claims McCraney abducted the girls though police have never suggested they had been kidnapped which would allowed them to file two more capital murder charges under state law. Police didn't.

Meanwhile, two cell phones and a tablet police seized from McCraney’s semi-truck during his March 15 arrest will be analyzed, presumably at a new lab located in the state attorney general’s office.

The agent theorizes that phone calls and web searches potentially could reveal McCraney had heightened interest in the DNA he provided to police earlier this year.

“Based upon (my) experience, people involved in criminal activities or may be interested in obscuring their involvement may contact other parties via voice phone call, text messaging, or other methods. These same individuals will often utilize web-based search engines to research techniques associated with criminal investigations in an attempt to better understand the techniques and in a better effort to circumvent such investigative techniques,” Collier stated.

Also, Collier claims McCraney told police he did not know Beasley and Hawlett though defense attorney David Harrison has since said his client either knew or had met both girls.

A preliminary hearing next week will determine if there is sufficient evidence against McCraney to present take the case on to a Dale County Grand Jury.