Butler County man died of gunshot wound to head

Published 7:27 pm Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Butler County native that was reported missing in July was shot in the head and killed.

Butler County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said an autopsy performed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences revealed that Michael Dewayne Graham was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head.

Graham was reported missing by family members on July 14 after he failed to show up for work the previous two days.

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Graham’s 2010 Nissan Pathfinder was located July 17 north of Atlanta. The vehicle led authorities to a person of interest, who was taken into custody in North Carolina and is still being held in custody in North Carolina on domestic abuse and theft charges, according to Tesmer.

She said the person of interest and Graham knew each other. No other information about the man is being released.

“To start with, we just had a missing person and we’ve had that before,” said Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden. “An adult would go off and wouldn’t tell anyone, and we’ve found them in different cities where they went off for whatever reason. This time, when the car was located in Georgia that gave us somewhere to start. And we were able to find out that the person who was driving that car had gotten picked up and was taken to North Carolina.”

BCSO investigators traveled to North Carolina where they were able to collect evidence that allowed them to obtain a search warrant for Graham’s residence on South Shackleville Road. During the search, Graham’s body was found inside a freezer in his mobile home.

Deputies with the BCSO had previously made a walk through of Graham’s residence looking for clues to his whereabouts, but the search came up empty.

Graham’s death marks the second murder in Butler County this year. In April, 18-year-old Jerome Watkins was shot and killed in Greenville.