Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Bodies in the Cemetery

Corner of Cemetery where victim's bodies were found.
Corner of Cemetery where victim's bodies were found.

Andy Stickley had already mowed the strips of hay around his Nettle Creek farm twice during the summer of 1997, once before the disappearance of India and Cody, and a second time about three weeks after they had vanished. On September 6, he was out on his tractor again mowing the band of hay that bordered the corn and soybean crops he and his father had planted. The first time around the field, Andy noticed a rotten smell in the air as he neared the part of the farm that bordered Nettle Creek Cemetery.

"I just kind of made a mental note of it, and I thought 'I'm going to check that out,'" he would later testify in court.  "I kind of forgot about it then until I was finishing up the field."

After making a last sweep around the field, Stickley was reminded of his mental note when he again passed through the putrid smell of death. He stopped the tractor and got off to investigate.

"I got off and I started walking," he testified. "I couldn't see anything. And when I got in (the cemetery) a little bit further, I could see something brown. It looked like a leg. I thought it was a deer at first. And then I kind of walked another step closer and that is when I saw the two small human skulls."


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