FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - FOX10 News is learning more about the motive behind the murder and how deputies caught up with the suspect in a mysterious homicide in the Montrose community.
Captain Steve Arthur with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office said the brutal murder happened on Monday but it took a witness three days to call authorities.
"He said he went into hiding because he said he was in fear for his life and for his family," said Arthur.
Deputies surrounded the scene at Parker Road Thursday night. They said witnesses told them Donald "DJ" Howard was shot several times.
"The victim Donald Howard could not have survived those injuries," said Arthur.
Deputies said they found a large amount of evidence at the scene but didn't find Howard's body. The District Attorney's Office, however, said they found enough evidence to charge 22-year-old Immanuel Jenkins with capital murder.
"It usually ends up being a circumstantial case but circumstantial cases can be won. And we feel very strongly about the evidence and about the testimony of the witnesses we have that we will be successful in prosecution if we don't turn up the body," said Arthur.
U.S. Marshals and Jackson County Sherrff's deputies arrested Jenkins Friday, January 18, in the St. Martin community.
Arthur said the victim and suspect knew each other. Officials said Jenkins may have thought Howard talked to police about crimes Jenkins was involved in.
"It's been an ongoing issue for several months, and I guess it just came to a head at this point," said Arthur.
Authorities are still searching for Howard's body.
Deputies said they looked in the area around the crime scene on foot and in the air Friday.
Finding Howard's body will not only help the investigation, but bring closure to family.
"This is an individual that faces the death penalty if he's convicted, and many other friends and family whose lives will be forever changed by this," said Arthur.
Jenkins is being held in Jackson County, Miss. awaiting extradition to Alabama.
If you have any information about this crime, please call the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office
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