Body identified as missing man
Published 3:07 pm Sunday, August 21, 2005
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER-Managing editorr
East Brewton authorities confirmed Wednesday morning that a decomposing body found in the vicinity of Fred's Discount store on Aug. 16 was in fact the man who had been missing for a week.
A man who worked at the mobile home sales lot located next to Fred's notified authorities around 4 p.m. on Tuesday that he had found a body. The unidentified man was trying to locate the source of a pungent smell and happened to locate a decomposing body about 10 feet behind the lot.
According to East Brewton Police Chief B.C. Cooper, the man was identified as Thomas "Jeff" Grantham, 52, who had been reported missing by his ex-wife on Aug.11. Cooper said they found identification on Grantham that positively identified him.
Grantham's body appeared to have been in the vacant lot since he had been reported missing a week ago. With the hot temperatures and steady rains over the past week, his body had been deteriorated beyond recognition.
Cooper said they were still waiting on forensics to determine the cause of death, and he could not comment whether they were looking at any suspects and whether they have ruled out suicide.
Grantham had originally been reported missing the late night of Aug. 11 by his ex-wife, Patricia Grantham. She became worried about her ex-husband, whom she had last seen around 3 p.m. on Aug. 10. She had told police her ex-husband typically left a note if he went anywhere.
According to police reports, it appeared that his son, Christopher Grantham, was the last person to have seen him alive, which was around 9 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 10.
Cooper said in a previous statement that the family seemed to think they were getting along well. Based on the deterioration of the body, Cooper said it appeared that Grantham's body had been in the vacant lot since late Wednesday night or early Thursday, Aug. 11.
Cooper said that they transported the body to Mobile where an autopsy will be performed and forensic scientists will determine the cause of death. The results from the autopsy report should be available Monday or Tuesday, Cooper said.