By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Three arrests were made Sunday in the murder of Barbourville man Jonathan Ryan Foley, 26, who went missing after a trip to a local store Nov. 6.
John Chris Mills, 42, and James Wyatt, 33, both of Bimble, and George Marcum, 52, of Trosper, will face murder charges at a preliminary hearing in Knox County District Court next week.
All three suspects remain at the Knox County Jail.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton said. “More charges are expected to be brought out when we present (our case) to the Knox County grand jury.”
Broughton said Foley’s body was recovered off Ed Matlock Place Road in the Trosper community. Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens said after the three suspects were arrested, one of them provided information which led to the discovery of Foley’s body.
Broughton said an autopsy will be performed at the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office. Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins said it will take four weeks for autopsy results.
Owens said detectives “did not find any type of wound to indicate (Foley was killed by) a gunshot.
“The actual cause is still undetermined at this time.”
Owens said surveillance video provided by Knox County Hospital was reviewed after Foley’s father located his son’s 2002 Ford F150 parked at CSC next door. “There were two Ford trucks (in the surveillance video) matching the description of what we were looking for,” Owens said. They also sought Wyatt’s Ford truck. “The two trucks came in at the same time, leaving Foley’s truck parked there.”
Owens said Foley’s vehicle was taken and processed by the Barbourville Police Department and the Crime Scene Response Unit of the Kentucky State Police.
Owens added the investigation continues. “There may be other arrests made in connection with the investigation,” he said.
Foley’s father, Charles Foley Jr., said Friday when he located the vehicle, it appeared as though it had been “four-wheeling.”
“There was mud and grass underneath,” said Foley. “...And the bottom was messed up. It looked like it’d been through a garden or a swamp.
“Even the parking lights were jammed up with mud.”
After a trip with his father to the VA Hospital in Lexington, the two returned home. The elder Foley went to rest, while the younger Foley, borrowing his father’s cell phone, said he was taking a quick trip to the store. When his father awoke nearly an hour and a half later, his son had not returned.
“I believe he’s dead,” Foley said last week. “I know somebody’s killed him.”
Broughton said Jonathan Foley was killed the night he went missing.
Assisting the Barbourville Police Department were members of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, the Kentucky State Police, the Knox County Coroner’s Office, the Knox County SORT Team and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele.