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Man charged with murder after dismembered body of missing person found in barrel

<i>Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office/WLOS</i><br/>Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden says suspect Jaylan Davis was
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office/WLOS
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden says suspect Jaylan Davis was "wrongly released on Thursday

By Kari Barrows

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    LEE COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — A murder investigation is underway in North Carolina after the remains of a man previously reported missing were discovered inside of a barrel.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a release that the department executed a search warrant at a residence on Farrell Road in Sanford on Jan. 25, 2023, and a connecting parcel of land. On the second day of the search, detectives located a 55-gallon barrel “in a heavily wooded area that contained concrete and suspected human remains,” the department said.

After being sent to the North Carolina State Medical Examiner’s Office, concrete from the barrel was removed and a dismembered body was found inside.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office identified the human remains as Michael Bradley Cox, who had been reported missing in December 2022.

Subsequently, the sheriff’s office charged Jackie Lamar Bright with the murder of Cox. Authorities say Bright had been released from prison in May of 2022 and that he was out on parole when the Lee County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody for unrelated charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Controlled Substance violations on Jan. 6. The sheriff’s office said Bright bonded out of jail and was arrested again on Jan. 11 for the parole violation and additional Controlled Substance violations.

This investigation is still ongoing and additional charges are expected, the sheriff’s office added.

Lee County Sheriff Brian Estes offered his condolences and prayers to the family of Michael Bradley Cox in a press release.

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