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CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. – Two teens have been charged after a partially decomposed body was found in a hand-dug grave in Alabama, officials say.

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The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office in a news release said that on May 5, deputies were called out a wooded area after reports of a suspicious incident.

Sheriff John Shearon told WBRC that caretakers of a cemetery found a “freshly dug grave” called CCSO. Shearon said that the cemetery hadn’t had a grave dug in over a hundred years, which is why the caretakers found it suspicious.

CCSO said investigators found a grave that they said appeared to be hand-dug with a partially decomposed body in it. They believed that the body was an adult man. CCSO said the body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and the death was ruled to be a homicide.

CCSO said the Special Operations Division investigators identified the remains as Thomas Lee Creel, 71.

CCSO said two juvenile males have been arrested and booked for recommended charges of murder and first-degree burglary.

WBRC said that the Jemison Police Department, the Clanton Police Department, the Chilton County Coroner’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Forensic and Scientific Testing Inc. in Thorsby, Alabama had assisted CCSO with the investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information has been released. If you or anyone you know has any information about this case, call Sgt. Jennifer Bland at 205-755-4698 or email her at You can also provide information on the CCSO website through their Crime Tip function.