Body Found In Unicoi County, TN

UNICOI CO., Tenn. - Many people are looking for answers after a body is discovered in Unicoi County, Tennessee.

We've learned officers were led to a remote location off a dirt road in Erwin.

Police say they found skeletal remains, possibly connected to a missing person investigation.

Police tell us they made the discovery in an abandoned trailer.

"They were skeletal remains wrapped in carpet," explains Travis Ludlow, an investigator with Carter County.

Police believe the remains belong to 78-year-old Lonnie Townsend.

Townsend was reported missing out of Johnson City, Tennessee in April.

Investigators are still waiting to confirm the identity of the remains.

Police have two suspects in custody, Timothy Pate and Whitney Harris.

Investigators believe Townsend was killed and his remains were dumped at 713 Little Bald Creek Road in Erwin.

"It's a very remote road back in Erwin, Tennessee. It appeared they backed up in a pick up truck and dropped him off," adds Ludlow.

Police say after questioning Harris led them to the remote location.

Pate is now charged first degree murder and Harris is charged with being an accessory.

Police say they're looking at robbery as a possible motive.

"We have reason to believe he had pre-planned to rob him. He was known to carry $2000 cash on him, " adds Ludlow.

Ludlow adds the suspects knew Townsend, but say he died a very violent death, "At this point, we strongly suggest a hammer was used, but it hasn't been confirmed," says Ludlow.

Police say they're still investigating and they plan to interview more witnesses.

We've learned this case spreads across several jurisdictions.

Police say Townsend disappeared from Johnson City, was killed in Carter County and his remains were recovered in Unicoi county. All three police departments assisted in the investigation.

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