WAYLAND RESIDENT CHARGED AFTER 43 DAY SEARCH FOR BODY
The 43-day search to find 26-year-old Jordan Christopher Tackett ended with the discovery of a shallow grave on Thursday, April 4, in the yard of a residence on Mill Creek in Wayland.
Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Trooper William Petry reported the discovery on Thursday evening and he and Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson both confirmed the identity the body as being Tackett on Friday.
KSP officials have been searching for Tackett since he was reported missing on Feb. 20.
KSP arrested Wesley Martin, 43, of Wayland, charging him in two separate cases with murder, one count of convicted felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a defaced firearm.
KSP Trooper Tiffany Bond reported in documents filed in the murder case that Martin was arrested shortly before midnight on Thursday, April 4. At the time, he was already in custody, having been arrested shortly after 8:30 p.m. on the gun charges.
KSP Trooper Billy Ball reported in court filings that he and other troopers found a loaded shotgun, a “sawed off shotgun” and a large knife at Martin’s home on April 4.
The search warrant, signed by Floyd County District Judge Jimmy Marcum, called for the search of the house, property and vehicles at Martin’s residence. The search warrant allowed for the collection of biological evidence and for any necessary excavation or digging on the property.
Trooper William Howard reported in the filing that in addition to Tackett’s body, KSP officials recovered several other items from the property, including a burned camouflage fabric, screen and mesh materials, a burned shoe, an item from the shallow grave, two shotguns, suspected methamphetamine, a used .38 special casing, a Samsung tablet and an Apple iPad.
Martin was arraigned in Floyd District Court on Friday, with Marcum setting his bond at $2 million cash in the murder case and $10,000 cash in the gun-related case. The preliminary hearing will be held in both cases next week.
The investigation, however, is continuing. Petry said investigators are still conducting interviews and County Attorney Keith Bartley said more charges could be filed against Martin and/or other individuals.
“Potentially, there could be additional charges,” Bartley said. “The investigation is not over. In fact, it’s ongoing as we speak. There could be additional defendants. There could be additional charges.”
Petry said KSP officials obtained a search warrant for Martin’s property because of information received during the investigation. Bartley said potential witnesses provided information to police.
“As part of their investigation, the state police obtained information from potential witnesses. That information was relayed to my office. We made the decision that we believe there was sufficient basis to get a search warrant,” Bartley said. “So we prepared the application for that search warrant. Judge Marcum reviewed it, and he agreed that we were entitled to it. And the result of that search warrant, the ensuing search, was exactly what found the body of Mr. Tackett. My point there, quite frankly, is that the information the police had was obviously quality information and accurate information because, it turns out, that’s exactly where the body was found.”
Officials have not yet reported an alleged motive for the murder. The cause of death has also not been released, pending the results of the autopsy, Petry and Bartley said.
By Mary Meadows
Floyd County Chronicle and Times