People in Ozark talk about an arrest in the 1999 murders

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OZARK, Al. (WTVY) - Who killed J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett is a question that's haunted this community for two decades.

A lot of people have a lot questions, even after police revealed more in a news conference Monday morning.

For others, it's time to move on.

"It was just heartbreaking that's all I can say to see the outrage expressed from the people, it's just disastrous,” said Gerald Sammon.

Sammon and his family lived in Ariton in 1999, about 30 minutes from the crime scene.

He says this case was always on his mind - worried for his own daughters and sad for J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett, the teens who died and their familes.

"Disappointment, because I had two teenage daughters at the time and I just pictured them being there," said Sammon.

A pastor tells me he hopes justice can be served.

"I knew J.B. and that family real well and I have prayed for that family for a long time I hope they have the right person,” Freddie McCain.

For those who didn't live in the Wiregrass in 1999, but live here now, there's relief that technology is advancing and hope that other crimes could be solved.

"We need to have those DNA kits processed because we could find a lot more people off the streets that could be committing acts in different locations than we know of,” said Dawn Greenwood. Ozark resident.

"I’m ready for it to be solved. It's been going on long enough. I’m glad they have a suspect in custody," said Sammon.

Several people reached out to us on Facebook and said they knew the teens and remember them fondly.

Coley McCraney, 45, is in the Dale County Jail. He is innocent until proven guilty.



 
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